NHL Picks: Bet A More Explosive Blackhawks To Win Against Kings

Dana Lane

Monday, March 14, 2016 4:15 PM GMT

The Kings have a two point lead in the Pacific Division and are currently ranked 4th in my NHL pick power rating travel to take on the Blackhawks, who find themselves in 3rd place in the Central.

Blackhawks Overview
The Chicago Blackhawks are glad to get home after a weekend that saw them lose their grip on the Central Division after road losses at Dallas and St.Louis. The Blackhawks issues have reached farther than this past weekend as they now have dropped five of their last eight games. 

Wednesday, they dropped a 3-2 shootout at the Scottstrade Center. The tone was easy to figure out, be physical. St.Louis out hit the Blackhawks 34-12 enroute to their victory.

Friday against Dallas, a game they would drop 5-2, The Blackhawks were sloppy and outworked but physical play remained the focus. The Stars outhit the Blackhawks 20-7 seemingly intent on sending a message to them and the rest of the division that will not go away.  The message to Chicago is clear, the rest of the league thinks the way to beat the Hawks is to be tougher while staying out of the penalty box.  The Hawks were outhit 54-19 over their last two games.

Chicago must be better on special teams. Against Dallas they were 0-5 while allowing while allowing two power play goals  Not the formula for winning hockey games. Either way, Blackhaws seem to be an important part of the NHL picks for tonight.

 

Kings Sneak Peek
I expect a must better effort tonight against the Kings who certainly will come in with the intention of playing heavy. However, when handicapping its difficult to overlook the success the Blackhawks have had at the United Center this season with a 24-8-2 record where the Hawks play four of their next five with their last game being a re-match against the Dallas Stars.

Corey Crawford hasn't played the way we are accustomed to seeing him play especially this time of year. Crawford was pulled after allowing four goals on 20 shots against Dallas but Crawford is a different goaltender at home where he is an impressive 20-8-2 with a 1.74 goals against average. The truth is that, despite his achievemnts in home games, NHL odds boards numbers speak for themselves.

Even if it is the Blackhawks, I wonder if there will be a little letdown for the Kings after two hard recent battles with the Ducks which saw them lose the lead in the Pacific before regaining it.  

 

Overall Preview
Against the Devils, Saturday, Los Angeles managed a point despite losing in overtime to gain a small two point separation from the Ducks. They came out and allowed a quick goals 1:12 into the game while playing lethargic. I need to see that the Kings have overcome that lull from not playing Central Division opponents especially when you're talking about going into Chicago.

The United Center has never been a place where opposing teams have gone to get healthy offensively. Over the last 153 games, when the Hawks opponents have scored two goals or less in their previous game, Chicago is an amazing 104-49. Los Angeles had just 23 shots against the Devils, their lowest total since December 13th. 

The Kings are playing back to back games against the Central Division, a division that hasn't been friendly to the Kings after having dropped five of their last seven games and while losing four of their last five games overall. This issue is reflected in all betting lines, which mark Kings as the underdogs.

With Chicago in desperate need of a win, I would be shocked if Joel Quenneville Didn't have them on top of their game tonight. 

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Free NHL Pick: Blackhawks -117
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle