No Ducking It: Blackhawks Not Ready to Halt Slide

ducks hawks

Dana Lane

Thursday, February 15, 2018 4:49 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 4:49 PM GMT

Hard to imagine, but Chicago has dropped 29 of its past 40 games against Western Conference opponents. With your NHL picks, will that trend continue tonight against Anaheim?

Thursday NHL: Ducks vs. BlackhawksFree NHL Pick: Ducks -114Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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I’ve never been accused of being a nebbish person when it comes to handicapping, so after a loss Wednesday night I’m jumping right back in with an increased wager on the Anaheim Ducks as they travel to Chicago to play the Blackhawks tonight. We haven’t dropped two in a row in a long time, so hopefully that trend will continue.

The Blackhawks have dropped seven straight games and in doing so have been outscored 29-12. That means Chicago has been outscored by an average of almost 2.5 goals per game, or in simpler terms, they haven’t been in many games. Defensive breakdowns and poor goaltending in the shadow of Corey Crawford missing an extended period of time has led to their overall demise. The Hawks haven’t allowed less than three goals since beating Nashville on Jan. 30. That’s tough when they have failed to score at least three goals in back-to-back games since Jan. 7 and 9 against Ottawa and Edmonton, two of the league’s bottom feeders.

Against Vegas on Tuesday, Joel Quenneville’s team was in it for 40 minutes, taking a 2-1 lead into the third period, but Brad Hunt tied it at the 1:14 mark and Reilly Smith gave the Knights the lead for good less than two minutes later. Vegas dominated the third period and won 5-2.

"There’s no words left,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s about what you go out there and do.”

For the Ducks, this game has to be viewed as a must-win. Anaheim has dropped two straight and is just 2-5-2 in its past nine games. Despite the recent slide, Randy Carlyle’s team has scored at least three goals in six of its last 10 games.

Against Detroit on Tuesday, the Ducks outshot the Wings 33-16. Although they didn’t get a lot of pucks to the high-traffic areas, it’s the 16 portion of that equation that gives me faith in tonight’s wager. Impressively, Anaheim didn’t allow more than eight shots in any period, including giving up just three in the third. A loss for sure, but the Ducks go to Chicago knowing they played well.

“We weren’t sharp with the puck and we needed to go upstairs more,” Carlyle said on the team’s official website. “We put pucks into his feet. The puck was bouncing away from us. You can’t play that way. Two turnovers in the game gave them goals. Those are very easily correctable.”

With your NHL picks, jump on the Ducks to get the job done in Chicago.

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