Swinging Johnson - NHL Record (15-11-1, +11.75units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
I just listened to the podcast previewing Game 5 that I did with SBR legend Peter Loshak, and I am pleased to report that I was dead nuts on. I realized there was value in betting Boston +132 but didn't truly believe they were going to skate out of the United Center with a victory. However, I was not confident enough in Chicago to lay -143 either. I could see two endings to the Game 5 script and in my opinion, each was as likely to happen as the other.
However, I did see a return to defense and advised a three unit play on Under 5 (-140) which turned out to be the easiest bet of the evening. The Hawks scored an empty-netter with seconds remaining and won the game 3-1 but it could easily have been a Boston victory just as I predicted.
Sophia Iglesias, who commented below my Game 5 article, said my NHL picks were so shameful it's no wonder I wear a bag on my head. Hey Sophia, I'm +11.75 units for the season but you're too hot to yell at so I'm letting it go...this time!
Okay kids, so onward and upward. Let's peruse the NHL odds and see if we can lock up another winner in Game 6.
This is a bit tricky because we have two marquee players who went down with injuries. Patrice Bergeron looked a bit loopy as he skated off the ice and was ultimately taken away by ambulance. Bergeron has had concussion problems in the past so this does not bode well for Boston.
Jonathan Toews was brutalized by a Johnny Boychuk crosscheck to the back of the neck that was never whistled and was repeatedly slammed by Bruins top defensive unit Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg all night. Nevertheless, he came away with two assists but his status, like Bergeron's, is unclear as of this writing.
So, where do we stand? The worst part of this for the Bruins is that not only are they a game away from elimination but the big guns of Chicago are hitting their stride. Unlike in the Pittsburgh series when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held off the scorer's sheet for the entire series, the Blackhawks superstars are getting in front of the net and making things happen.
Why is that anyway? I believe the minutes are catching up with Zdeno Chara. He's been on the ice for eight of the last nine Blackhawk goals. Yeah, amazing right? This is a superbly conditioned athlete but he's 36-years-old and the tread on the tire is getting thinner by the day. This has given a bit more room to roam for Patrick Kane who has awoken from his slumber with a thunderous roar.
Once again, I am staying away from the side because my heart tells me that Boston will win Game 6 yet I'm not going to lay -130 on a team that has dropped their last two games to an opponent whose superstars are now finding their way. So I will advise, yet again, a play on Under in Game 6 with a slight lean on Boston in my NHL picks.