Date/Time: May 23rd, 8:00 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Blackhawks -135
The Chicago Blackhawks are officially on the ropes. The Presidents Trophy holders are down 2-1 in their best-of-seven NHL betting series against the Detroit Red Wings, and if they don’t win on Thursday night on the ice, they’ll be behind 3-1 heading back to the Windy City this weekend.
The Blackhawks have 41 wins this season against just 15 losses, six of which have come in overtime, but they have now been beaten twice by the Red Wings in a span of just a few days. The truth of the matter is that they have been beaten badly as well in those efforts, getting outscored 7-2 in the games. However, what we will say is that Chicago looked the part of a much better team in Game 3, and if not for some stellar efforts from G Jimmy Howard (more on this in a second), it would have probably won the game. The Blackhawks fired off 40 shots on goal with just one successful strike off the stick of RW Patrick Kane. The truth of the matter is that they probably had the game tied if not for a controversial disallowing of a goal that was scored shortly after the Kane strike. Instead, C Pavel Datsyuk beat G Corey Crawford just a minute later, and that essentially ended any hopes that the team had of making a comeback from down 2-0 in the third period.
The Red Wings meanwhile, have to be flying high, but they cannot let their emotions get the best of them. It’s tough to say that you’re in a must-win spot in a series in which you’re up two games to one, but that possibility legitimately is there. Losing this game puts you in a position where you’re probably going to be down 3-2 the next time you see your home ice, and no one wants to try to figure out how to win a second game in the Windy City. Winning one is tough enough. Howard was stellar in the pipes in Game 3 in what might have been his best game of the playoffs. The one goal allowed there was little that could have been done to stop it, and the Howard managed to hold off one of the best offensive teams in the game aside from that. The problem that Detroit has had in this series has been on the power play, as it has yet to score its first goal on the man advantage. The Red Wings in fact, have gone goalless in their last 15 power play chances, and that’s not going to ultimately win this series.
The fact of the matter is that we have been on the backs of the Blackhawks every step of the way in this series, and we are going to continue to do so. They still have the better of the two teams from top to bottom, and for a good chunk of Game 3, they did outplay Detroit. Go with Chicago to get out of Hockeytown USA with the split that it needed to get back on terms in this series.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings Game 4 Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -135
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.