Matchup: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Date/Time: April 9th, 8:00 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
NHL Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Moneyline: Check Back Later
Total: Check Back Later
Two teams that are hoping to claim their respective division titles this season will meet at the XCel Center on Tuesday night in a crucial NHL betting battle, as the Chicago Blackhawks will fight it out with the Minnesota Wild.
Chicago is the only team as of Monday that has officially gotten into the playoffs in the Western Conference. The team of course, got out of the blocks with 24 straight games with either a win or a point from an overtime or shootout loss, and that’s the type of run that makes the rest of the regular season relatively elementary. The Hawks actually could lock up the Central Division title with a win and some help, but that’s merely a formality at this point. The real concern is where the Anaheim Ducks and the Pittsburgh Penguins are, as these are the two teams that Chicago is trying to beat out for the top records in the West and the NHL respectively. We’re wondering if there’s a point that G Ray Emery is going to take over as the team’s starter this year. It’s not that G Corey Crawford has played all that badly, though. Emery is 14-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA and a .920 save percentage, and those are the types of numbers that win men the Vezina Trophy.
The Wild picked up LW Jason Pominville to help out with an offense that has been sporadic at times. The former Buffalo captain did pick up a goal and an assist in his second game with his new team, but there are most certainly still some issues to be worked out. Minnesota has scored just six goals in its last four games, and it hasn’t scored more than three goals in regulation in seven in a row. The ‘O’ also only generated a total of 47 shots in two games on the road against the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets last week. It’s a new week full of home games though, and a 13-4-1 mark here at the XCel Center really does bode well for the team. G Niklas Backstrom is likely to get the start in this one, as he has played in 32 of the 38 games this season for the Wild. The net minder snapped a personal three-game skid when he shut out the Blue Jackets on Sunday, and he is now 20-10-2 with a 2.44 GAA and a .913 save percentage in 2013.
The Blackhawks might ultimately be a bit full of themselves coming into this one. We know that they have had extended success against the Wild, but we do believe that Minnesota is going to come out of the blocks in this one and walk away with the two points. Don’t be all that shocked if this one goes all the way to a shootout though, where Minnesota has won three in a row against Chicago.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Minnesota Wild Pick: Minnesota Wild
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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.
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