NHL Picks: NY Islanders vs. Chicago Blackhawks

David Lawrence

Friday, October 11, 2013 12:13 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 12:13 PM GMT

Let's have a peek at the New York Islanders vs. the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks. Who has the more favorable betting odds line?

The Chicago Blackhawks are 1-1-1 through three games this season, which isn’t bad but when you consider that they’re the Stanley Cup champs and that they didn’t lose in regulation through 24 games to start last season, you can quickly tell that something is off. On Friday, they are big favorites on the NHL odds to end their two-game losing streak when the New York Islanders visit.

Record: 11-19 (-469)


The New York Islanders can win because…

They are playing really well right now. Sure, on paper, this is a mismatch. You’ve got the Islanders, who are a perceived weakling, versus the Blackhawks, who are the Stanley Cup champs. However, don’t let those old notions cloud the reality. The Isles came on strong to end the lockout-shortened season and now people making their sports picks have seen them get off to a fast start in the 2013-14 season. They are 2-0-1 and are coming off a confidence-boosting 6-1 home win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. This is a young team that’s becoming more confident by the day. As for the Blackhawks, they didn’t lose three in a row all of last season so the fact that they are even in this position gives you an indication that something is wrong.

The key for the Isles has always been goaltending and it appears that Evgeni Nabokov – at least for the time being – is doing yeoman’s work. He has a 1.89 GAA and a .935 save percentage this season. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

While this will be a tough test for the Isles, they are playing very well right now and should give themselves a chance to win this game.

Pop over and check out my NHL Picks of the Day to get that extra betting advantage~

The Chicago Blackhawks can win because…

Nabokov has never played well against the Blackhawks. He’s past his prime but even if you include his olden days, he has just one win in his last seven starts against Chicago with a 4.00 GAA. Sure, the Blackhawks have not been that sharp to start the season but it’s nothing to be worried about. The Blues scored the game-winner with just seconds remaining on Wednesday and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who beat the Blackhawks at home last weekend, mounted a big comeback only to win it in overtime. It’s not as if the Blackhawks are getting blown out.

People who make their sports picks know that Chicago’s offense has been quiet since the opener and that’s been the issue. Score two goals per game, which is what the Blackhawks have done in their last two, is not going to cut it in this league. However, playing the Isles should wake this offense up. The Isles like to get out and skate, and they’ll get schooled by a team that’s great at that.

 

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Outlook & Pick

To be quite frank, Chicago probably wins this game but there’s no way you can lay -180 with them in this situation. The Blackhawks are struggling and the Isles are playing pretty well. This is not the mismatch that it would have been in previous years.

I’m going to suggest you sprinkle on the Islanders for a small bet and also take the over. This should be an open, free-flowing game as both teams like to play fast. Take the over for your NHL picks.

Free Pick: Islanders & Over 5.5 at Bet365

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