NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Blues

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 9:18 PM GMT

The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blue collide on Wednesday night in the first of 5 meetings between these two clubs this season. Find out why we are backing the small dog with our NHL picks Wednesday night.

Faceoff is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET and the game will be televised by the NBC Sports Network. According to current NHL odds, the Blues are a -125 money line favorite and posted total is set at 5.5.

[gameodds]7/245066/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

No Blues in St. Louis

The mood is anything but grim around the St. Louis Blues organization these days. Expectations are at an all time high and the club is off to a 2-0 start. The Blues have been led by sizzling hot goalie Jaroslav Halak who has stopped 47 of 49 shots on goal in the first 2-games. Halak comes off a 7-0 shutout of Florida in the Blues previous game. Halak passed Glen Hall as the all time shutout leader in St. Louis history by posting his 17th career shutout in a Blues uniform. Seven different players scored for the Blues in the win.

Blackhawks have a Target on their Heads

Chicago found out early in the season that opponents will use them as a measuring stick. The Hawks lost as a heavy favorite at home versus lowly Tampa Bay 3-2 in their previous game. In their season opener they needed a furious 3rd period rally at home to defeat Washington 5-4. The Hawks will have the proverbial target on their heads all season long so they better get used to it and relish the challenge. Needless to say they have yet to put together a full 60-minute effort in their first 2-games. Possibly playing in their first road game will heighten their intensity level and focus up a notch. On a positive note both Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad scored goals in each of the first 2-games. 

Final Analysis 

The Blues are a favorite versus the defending champions for good reason. They are playing the better hockey right now and their goaltending has been terrific. However, my feeling is that Chicago will be up to the stiff challenge in its first road tilt of the year. The Hawks will embrace the role of an underdog and use it to their advantage. When it comes to placing my NHL picks, I have a small lean toward the Chicago Blackhawks as a money line underdog. 

Free Pick: Blackhawks +105 over the Blues

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":245066, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]