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Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:30 PM EST. OT included. Over the past five weeks or since January 18th, Chicago ranks 3rd overall in 5v5 Corsi For % while the Red Wings rank 27th over that same span. In Corsi Against per 60 (CA/60) over the past five weeks, Chicago ranks 11th while Detroit ranks 18th. In xGF, Chicago ranks 9th while Detroit ranks 23rd. We’re not going to run through all the analytical numbers but just know that the list goes on and on of how superior the Blackhawks are to the Red Wings in several key metrics. That doesn’t guarantee anything except that we’re absolutely going with the “best of it” by playing the superior team here that figures to give it everything they have in order to snap a prolonged funk.
Chicago has dropped four in a row and five of six despite being the better team in most games. Chicago has won the puck possession battle in six of its last eight games and the only reason they can’t buy a win is because of bad luck on special teams. Entering last night's game against the Leafs, the Blackhawks were 0-for-16 in their past four games with the man advantage and 0-for-32 in their previous 10 at home. The Blackhawks rank 30th overall in that department with a 14.8% success rate and we can’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously unlucky that is when you have Patrick Kane out there quarterbacking said power-play. Regarding Chicago’s PP, a correction to the good is coming. The Blackhawks changed up their top six against Toronto, moving Alex DeBrincat up to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Anthony Duclair and dropping Brandon Saad to the second line with Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane. Both of those lines were really good last night and they'll probably be rolled back out again here. All the media talk regarding the Blackhawks is, “What’s wrong with Chicago” and they ask that question because of the piling up losses. One publication (Rotoworld) even went as far as saying this today: “The Blackhawks need Corey Crawford to get back into the lineup as quickly as possible if they want to make a run at a playoff spot”.
You see how results influence? Jeff Glass in net has been outstanding. In a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday in which he stopped 29 of 31 shots (.935 save percentage). In a 3-2 overtime loss to Toronto last night, Glass stopped 33 of 35 shots (.943 save percentage) in regulation before giving up a penalty shot goal six seconds into overtime. He was very good prior to that also. We’re here to once again preach that results is all that matters to the media and market. There is nothing wrong with Chicago other than bad luck and we have no hesitation whatsoever coming back on them here. Blackhawks’ players will see that they’re an underdog to Detroit and although they don’t need it, that’ll light a fire under their rear ends too. Wrong side favored.
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CHICAGO +108 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.16)