The Chicago Blackhawks have established a 3-0 series chokehold on the Minnesota Wild and now it looks pretty clear that they’ll be advancing to the next round. The only question is whether or not they’ll cash on the NHL betting lines on Thursday and end it early or whether the Wild will survive one more game.
The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They have dominated this series from start to finish. The Wild have had no answer for Patrick Kane since the beginning and the bigger problem is that they’ve had no answer for goaltender Corey Crawford either. The Wild have now scored just one goal in the last seven periods of action, which is absolutely pathetic. It’s hard to win hockey games when you’re not scoring goals. And if you take away the Wild’s two power play goals, they’ve only tallied two goals at full strength.
As for the Blackhawks, they were quieted in Game 3 but they still found a way to get the lone goal in the game and stole the win. Game 3 was the Wild’s best shot to get back into this and if they couldn’t pull it off then, there is little reason to believe that they’ll get the win in Game 4.
Chicago had a chance to end their first-round series in five games yet they failed as they let up a little bit. That forced them to play an extra 60 minutes of hockey and in the playoffs, that fatigue can ware on you. That being the case, look for the Blackhawks to learn from their mistakes and play a more focused elimination game.
The Minnesota Wild Can Win Because…
They have to win once…don’t they? The Wild played much better in Game 3 as they didn’t give up any flimsy goals. They made the Blackhawks work for everything and they really forced them into a grind-it-out type of game. The Wild knew that they weren’t going to be able to outscore the Blackhawks in a shootout style of game and they finally played the game at their pace. Now if they can find a way to do the same thing again but this time, get a lead, the result could be much different.
Yes, the Wild have their backs up against the wall but NHL odds makers know that this is a team that’s done a lot of winning down the stretch of the season. Their spirit won’t be broken. Look for them to get one win for their fans and to extend this series to a Game 5.
The Blackhawks have owned this matchup from start to finish, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they got the clean sweep here. However, Minnesota will fight tooth and nail to extend this. That’s why I’m expecting another under as this should be a low-scoring affair because that’s they style Minnesota needs to play. If the Wild are to have any chance, they’ll have to keep this tight, so go under with your NHL picks in this one.
NHL Pick: Under at GTBets