The Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks have been going toe-to-toe for six games now and we need a deciding Game 7 to settle the Western Conference final. The Ducks are favored on the NHL lines but can they seal the deal?
The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They’re the more experienced team and in a Game 7 on the road, that will matter. They’ve been here before whereas the Ducks have not really been in this position. That could be a bigger factor than home-ice advantage. And don’t forget there were two days off in between games here and that should benefit the Blackhawks more than the Ducks. They’ve been playing their blueliners, so an extra day is exactly what they needed.
The Blackhawks have got their offense going in recent games and that has to concern the Ducks. Jonathan Toews was quiet early in the series but he has four points in the last three games. While he had no points in Game 6, he was still a +2. Patrick Kane has also come to life as he notched two points in Game 6 and now has four points in his last three contests. If these guys are going, the Blackhawks will be tough to stop, so keep this in mind when looking at the NHL betting odds.
Lastly, it’s a fair question to ask where Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen’s head is at. Both goaltenders have struggled in this series but Andersen has now given up 14 goals in the last three games. Corey Crawford has been in this position before whereas Andersen hasn’t. With Andersen struggling right now, one or two early goals by Chicago could make this an easy game for them.
The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
This is their wheelhouse. This is exactly what they’ve done all season long: win close, low-scoring games at home. In case you haven’t been keeping track, take note that the Ducks are an impressive 16-2 in home games this season where the total is five or less. The last couple of games have gotten out of hand as there were nine goals in Game 4, nine in Game 5 and seven in Game 6. The Duck would prefer to play a more conservative, low-scoring game and with the home-ice advantage, they are more likely to dictate the style here.
Chicago is going to be worn down here as they have played more hockey this postseason and they are relying on just four defensemen these days. The minutes have been piling up for the big four and the Ducks have been pounding them on the boards. Fatigue has set in during recent games but we should see more of it on Saturday.
This is a Ducks team that’s grown up in front of our eyes and gone toe-to-toe with the Cup favorites. Look for them to finish the job at home in Game 7.
Taking a side here for our NHL picks is a real challenge, but the bottom line is that both teams are playing well at the offensive end and both goaltenders have been subpar. That being the case, over seems to be the best play here. The over is 10-4 in games where the Ducks are at home with a total of five or less this season and it should cash here again.
NHL Pick: Over at The Greek