NHL Picks: Blackhawks To Claim A Victorious Game 7 vs. Blues

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 25, 2016 11:09 AM UTC

Monday, Apr. 25, 2016 11:09 AM UTC

The Chicago Blackhaws/St. Louis Blues series has been very exciting. Find out who's going to take the lead in this game 7 and put your money on this valuable NHL Pick.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
Chicago had to win Game 6 to force one more with St. Louis and they scored first to further ignite Blackhawks fans. Yet, less than eight minutes later, the Blues had scored three times and the United Center had 22,000 people dressed in red and white looking like their personal banking accounts had been hacked.

But we are talking about the Cup champs and in the second period, they played about as well as any professional hockey team could, regaining the lead with 3-0 middle stanza and outshooting St. Louis 19-6.

The clinching goal was on the power play for the Hawks and I will go on record as saying it was the best power play I have seen all season.

So here we are, do or die Game 7 and the NHL odds at SportBetting opened with St. Louis at -115 and at last peak, it was a Pick (-105). No secrets, no stunning developments, just winner take all from two teams that have met 356 times since first game in 1967.


Chicago Will Rely on Experience and Belief
The Blackhawks have 19 players on their roster who have been through a Game 7, eight who have been with coach Joel Quenneville since he became Chicago coach in the 2008-09 season. (St. Louis has eight all together) Like many things in life, having experience allows you to handle the stress and while the outcome might not always go your way, you have the mental preparation down.

Having finally found chinks in the armor of the Blues defense with 10 goals in the past two victories, especially versus goalie Brian Elliott, Chicago understands what is needed and that is keep puck possession in the St. Louis zone and make quick passes station to station to have St. Louis defenders scrambling.

One nice adjustment by Quenneville is new third line of Andrew Ladd, Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa, who has stymied the Blues top line, even on occasion Vladimir Tarasenko.

Netminder Corey Crawford almost always at his best in the biggest games and gives up at least one less goal than who he facing.


St. Louis Must Regain Defensive Control, Swiftly
After permitting five scores in first three contests, the Blues defense has come up like dead fish on the shore of the nearby muddy Mississippi River, where tonight's game will be played.

St. Louis had their best first period of the series on Saturday and with their defense, it seemed they could just suck the life out the Blackhawks, but it never happened. In the prior three battles it was St. Louis who had the extra gear late in games to win two of three, but not the last time out. Chicago skaters went into warp drive and coach Ken Hitchcock squad had no answer.

For this confrontation, the Blues have to play the Blackhawks more square up on defense and beat them to the spots where they want to be. Elliott has not been as sharp and will presumably need more from back-liners.

On offense, the scoring has come in spurts and if you are as hot as the Pittsburgh Penguins, that works, but St. Louis has to be more consistent on the attack throughout the game to take the series.


What to Expect and Winner
Though teams will fight 82 games to ensure a home ice edge for a possible Game 7, the fact is in the past decade, in these matchups the visiting team is 22-21 and up +10.1 units according to sportsinsights.com.

In the pre-tournament article here I said Chicago in 7 for NHL picks and with the Blackhawks experience, belief and mental toughness, which has led to them being 33-7 record in Games 5-7 in the playoffs, sticking with my original choice.

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Free NHL: Pick: Chicago -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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