Date/Time: May 5th, 3:00 PM ET
Moneyline: Chicago -160
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten off to a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Minnesota Wild. They have a chance to go up 3-0 if they can beat the NHL betting lines on Sunday afternoon in the first of two games in a row played in St. Paul.
Chicago doesn’t have to do a whole heck of a lot to win this series at this point, knowing that it was the better of the two teams by a country mile in the two games played at the United Center. The stars for the Blackhawks have shined in a big time way. RW Patrick Kane leads the team in scoring with three points, and he has been the best player on the ice on either side in this series. C Jonathan Toews has yet to log a point, and he only has four shots on goal, but he has been all over the ice. LW Patrick Sharp has a pair of goals at this point, and he put together a remarkable Game 2. RW Michael Frolik only had three goals in the entire regular season, but he scored twice on Friday night, including once shorthanded. The Blackhawks now have a pair of special teams goals, and they have dominated on the penalty kill, keeping Minnesota off the board and scoring the one goal in the second period in Game 2.
The Wild have been snake bitten over the course of this whole series. They lost G Nicklas Backstrom with a leg injury in pre-game skate prior to Game 1, which forced G Josh Harding into action. Harding hasn’t really played all that well, giving up six goals in two games, and he hasn’t had the most help from his defense either. Worse for the Wild is that LW Dany Heatley is out for the rest of the year with a shoulder problem, but RW Jason Pominville has a concussion as well. Will he be back for Sunday’s Game 3? That’s the big question. We have to think if he is cleared, he is going to be out there on one of the top lines for the Wild, knowing that the team really needs a shot in the arm. C Mikko Koivu and LW Zach Parise were two of the top scorers on the team this season, but they don’t have a single point between them, and they are both -3 in the +/- category.
For as much as we would like to think that the Wild are going to be able to stick around in this series, we just don’t know. Minnesota is clearly not the better of these two teams. It is going to take some luck to win this game from arguably the best team in hockey. The Wild might cover the puck line number, but we think that playing Chicago on the moneyline is the safer play.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Minnesota Wild Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -160
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.