NHL Pick: Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
Date/Time: October 9th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
NHL Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Moneyline: St. Louis -120
NHL betting action continues in the Gateway to the West on Thursday night, as the St. Louis Blues will be taking on the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scottrade Center. These two Central Division foes hate each other, and every game that they play against the other is crucial because they are the two overwhelming favorites to win the division this year.
The Blackhawks are off and running this year, as the Stanley Cup holders have three points to show for their work in their two games thus far. The defense has been so-so at times, but offensively, this team is still flying all over the ice. Eight goals have been scored in two games, and the team has rolled off 73 shots on goal, as opposed to allowing 48. Not everything is nearly so peachy, though. G Corey Crawford has a woeful save percentage at this point, and he has let six get past him on just those 48 shots, and he has allowed four goals on the penalty kill, making the Blackhawks one of the worst kill teams in the league at the moment. Things badly have to improve in a hurry if Chicago is going to win this game and get the points in this one, and it would really help if LW Patrick Sharp could get his first point of the season.
The Blues know that they are the secondary draw in town on Wednesday night, as there is a lot greater concern about what is going on at nearby Busch Stadium in Game 5 of the NLDS for the St. Louis Cardinals. The crowd might not quite be as notable tonight, but the advantage on the ice might still be there because of the talent that Head Coach Ken Hitchcock is bringing to the table. So far this season, the Blues have outscored their foes 11-2, including whipping the Florida Panthers 7-0 here four nights ago. Thus far, we have seen great play out of the goaltending position, especially on the penalty kill. We spoke earlier about all of the problems that Chicago has had when it has had a man (or more) in the sin bin, but the Blues have had no such troubles. The kill is a perfect 11-for-11 this year, and that’s part of the staple of a Hitchcock coached team. The offense won’t be putting up over 30 shots per game or over five goals a night, but when it does, there is no hope for beating this club.
We’re firm believers that the Blues might have the best team in hockey at this point, especially here on their home ice. This is a team that is going to want to prove to Chicago that it isn’t just a one-horse race in the Central Division, and winning this one at home by a comfortable margin can prove to the rest of hockey that indeed, these Blues are legit.
Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues Pick: St. Louis Blues -120