In what has been the series of the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues close things out tonight in the final game. The Blackhawks have been down in the past to come back and win. They can do it again tonight after getting behind 3-1 in this series. The Blues can repeat history as well, but not in a way they would like to be remembered. St. Louis is synonymous with choking, and in 2016 they can serve up another helping of choke against the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues can exorcise some demons tonight with a win, while the Blackhawks can keep doing what they do best. The Hawks flashed some of that grit in the previous game.
After falling behind 3-1 quickly to start the game, the Blackhawks flipped the momentum and won the contest by a score of 6-3. The Blackhawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but that quickly evaporated as the Blues came back and brought a 3-1 lead to the intermission. A lot of teams would fall over and quit, but not the Blackhawks. They’ve shown how resilient they can be and showed it off again in brilliant fashion. Corey Crawford should also be applauded for not allowing that game to get out of hand. Even though he coughed up 3 goals in the first period, he was able to shut the door for the remaining two periods.
If the Blues lose tonight, they have no more excuses, this is a fully stocked team with no health issues to report. They have been able to lean on that in the past, but that is not the case for them this year. Brian Elliott has not been playing well the past couple games, that is well documented. The Blues should have closed this series out in five games at home, but here we are going the distance. Find my pick below for game 7 between the Blackhawks and Blues.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues NHL Playoffs Pick
After the Blackhawks drew even with the Blues at 3-3 in the last game, there was a sense that the Blues were not only throwing the game away but the entire series. The Blackhawks were heavy favorites to win the game after the Blues sat on their heels to watch their lead evaporate. It’s exactly what they did, the Blues didn’t try to extend their lead, instead sitting back and letting the game come to them and watching the clock. When that happens you can forget about it, the more aggressive team is going to win ten times out of time. The Capitals came close to choking their series lead away, but they were fortunate enough to get a 1-0 win yesterday and avoid a seventh game.
Game 7’s most often attract even money across the board. People go of a hunch sometimes, with the thought process that it’s an even game. From top to bottom, I actually think the Blues have a bit of an advantage in the talent department. The Blackhawks lost Patrick Shark to the Dallas Stars in the offseason, which was a considerable loss for them. However, the heart and energy of the team, Patrick Kane, is still out there leading the Blackhawks. He is the main reason why the Blackhawks were able to win a couple of recent Stanley Cups.
Kane will be there tonight and he’s already started to do the same thing. I think the winner of this series goes a long way in the playoffs. I mentioned if the Blues knock the Blackhawks off they’re going to go far, but the same could be said for the Hawks. My pick has to go with the team that has been in this spot before. Head coach Joel Quenneville is the master of drawing up a winning game plan in these scenarios. The odds say this game is a coin-flip. I can’t disagree with the price, but my bet is going to fall with the proven veterans tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks.
PICK: BLACKHAWKS TO WIN -106