NHL Picks: Take the Devils +160 vs Stanley Cup Contender Blackhawks

SBR Staff

Thursday, November 12, 2015 8:35 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 8:35 PM GMT

Don't miss our coverage of tonight's east vs. west matchup between the New Jersey Devis & Chicago Blackhawks.  Our Capper shares his best bet for your NHL picks Thursday night.

New Jersey Devils (8-6; 8-7 ATS; 5-7 O/U) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (8-6-1; 5-10 ATS; 5-8 O/U)

Line: CHI -180 /NJD +160

NHL Odds Over/Under: 5

The New Jersey Devils will travel to the United Center on Thursday night for a battle with the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Devils have been one of the NHL’s early surprises, led by netminder Cory Schneider and the emergence of veteran Lee Stempniak (3G, 9A). Stempniak was invited to try out for the team and did not officially sign until two weeks prior to the regular season. Goaltender Cory Schneider comes in with a 7-4-1 record in 12 games this season and sports a 2.14 GAA so far on the year. This next stretch of games will tell us a lot more about this Devils team. New Jersey was recently blanked by the Blues and will follow up their game versus Chicago with a matchup at home against the Penguins on Saturday night.

 

Devils Boast Top-Ten Power Play
The New Jersey Devils were predicted to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference this season, but it looks like coach John Hynes had other plans. At 40 years old, Hynes is the NHL’s youngest coach. The team has benefitted from stellar goaltending and a power play that is firing on all cylinders to start the season. New Jersey has converted 21.2% of their power play opportunities thus far, which is ninth-best in the NHL. Adam Henrique leads the Devils in goals with 7. He is anchored by veteran wingers Lee Stempniak and Mike Cammalleri – who leads the team in points.

 

Keith Could Return This Weekend
The Chicago Blackhawks will get a major boost very soon, as Conn Smythe Trophy winner Duncan Keith has been cleared to return to the ice as soon as this weekend. The Blackhawks were originally expected to be without Keither for 4-6 weeks. Coach Joel Quenneville has leaned on Erik Gustafsson, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Viktor Svedberg in Keith’s absence, but the team is reportedly pushing hard to acquire another defenseman. There are a few potential options for the ‘Hawks to bolster their blueline this season, but the Devils will likely be pressed up against the cap if they do. The team is also asking the NHL to review to incident between Canucks forward Alex Burrows and the Devils Jordin Tootoo. Burrows apparently rattled Tootoo by making disparaging comments deemed as “personal slurs”. Trash talking is part of the game, though one seldom made public. It will be interesting to see how the NHL reacts to the situation moving forward. Tootoo and the Devils will get a rematch with Vancouver on November 22nd.

 

The New Jersey Devils are: 7-1 in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest. 6-1 in their last 7 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. 8-3 in their last 11 overall.

The Chicago Blackhawks are: 2-5 in their last 7 Thursday games.
The Devils were blanked versus the Blues, but should be able to squeak by a few goals on a Blackhawks blueline that will still be without defenseman Duncan Keith. Corey Schneider has been terrific in net for the Devils, and at this price, its worth a shot. Take the Devils.

NHL Pick: New Jersey Devils +160

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