It’s tough times to be a Blackhawk, the defending champions are looking back on back to back defeats after a 3-1 loss on Sunday to the Winnipeg Jets (and it was their third straight against division rivals). In fact 2014 has not been so kind to the Blackhawks, they’ve won just four of 12 games this year AND their lead in the Central Division has withered to just one point over the second-place St. Louis (and that’s St. Louis, with their three games in hand). Looking at the last ten, Chicago are 3-3-4 and Calgary are 3-6-1.
Enough with Chicago’s woes…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
This will be their last meeting of the regular season between these sides. Looking at head to head between these two teams this season, they’ve have split their games, and both times it’s been the visitors each winning in the other team's home arena. This time we’re north of the border at Calgary. Still the sportsbooks have the best hockey odds on a Chicago win at -181 while Calgary busting the away team winning streak is at +162.
A much safer bet is that both teams will score at -1900. But odds like that aren’t going to make you rich. You’ll have to look a little deeper as the bookies seem to think what your Humble Handicapper already knows, both teams will score.
In the Hawks' loss to Winnipeg on Sunday, Chicago threw everything they could at Winnipeg’s goalie (Al Montoya) and had a 27-6 advantage in shots on goal through two periods, but just couldn’t bust it into the net.
This visit to Calgary on Tuesday is the first in a seven-game road trip that will carry the Blackhawks to the Olympic break and they’d love to start it with a win. The bookies think it’s going to be close as the shortest correct score odds are on a draw first (and second). 2-2 is at +1000 while 3-3 is at +1150. The first correct score odds with a clear winner is on 3-2 to the Hawks at +1700 NHL odds. Read into that what you will, but your Humble Handicapper reads that this game will go Over 4.5 goals at -275. Under is at +280, but I just smell goals here!
Things barely look better for Calgary
The Flames beat the Nashville Predators in a shootout last Friday, a win which gave them consecutive wins for the first time since December 14th. A win is still a win, but I don’t feel that the victory over Nashville will have given Calgary much of a boost.
The Flames are on five wins in its past 20 games (5-13-2) and sit currently sixth in the Pacific Division, and their minus-46 goal differential is the third worst in the Western Conference.
Prediction: We'll count on the Hawks finding their way back to winning ways with a 3-2 victory for our NHL pick; available best hockey odds of +1900 with win.