On Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Phoenix Coyotes will square off in NHL betting action in the final game of a five-pack of clashes on the ice.
The question for the Blackhawks is whether or not it is going to be Corey Crawford in the pipes or not. It’s not that he has really played that badly in terms of his stats in this series, as he has a .900 save percentage and a 2.64 GAA. That being said though, he has been absolutely awful in overtime in this series. Not only did he allow one soft goal in overtime in Game 3 at home, but he did the same thing in Game 4. That took two games that could have been had at home and turned them into losses. Now, the team is on the verge of extinction in the 2011-12 season, and two games are going to have to be on the road in the desert, where the Coyotes have been fantastic this year. To make matters worse, Marian Hossa’s head injury are going to keep him out of the lineup in this one, joining Steve Montador out of the fold in such an important spot in a do-or-die game on the road.
We know that we have been down on the Blackhawks, but we have to give a lot of credit to what the Coyotes have done in these close games. To get the job done on the road in the playoffs against a team that is just two years removed from the Stanley Cup Finals has been a remarkable accomplishment. Phoenix has worked and worked and continued to work for this series lead, and it is going to likely be rewarded by finishing off this series in the near future. The suspension for Raffi Torres is going to be decided upon at some point later in the day on Saturday, and if he gets back in the fold in this one, it is going to be a huge boost to this team defensively. We just don’t see Brendan Shanahan keeping Torres in the lineup though, as we think that he is going to be suspended for at least the next two games or so, and probably deeper into the second round of the playoffs.
The Final Word: The Blackhawks are probably going to be motivated to come on the road and get one of these games back. We look for Ray Emery to get the nod in net, and even without Hossa out there, we expect to see the road teams continue to dominate this series. Chicago will win yet another close call.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes Pick: Chicago Blackhawks
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.