The Stanley Cup era in Chicago is long over, if you didn’t notice in the last year or so. If it wasn’t clear last season, then it’s been crystal clear in 2018. The Blackhawks enter on a lengthy seven-game losing streak, while losing eight of their last ten games. The Hawks spent money on keeping the trio of Jonathan Toews, Pat Kane, and Duncan Keith together, but that’s been part of the problem. They are squeezed when it comes to the salary cap and it hasn’t allowed them to make the team better.
The Hawks are stuck with an aging core in an NHL that is dominated by young legs. An era was officially over when they fired Joel Quenneville behind the bench. Was it the right call to fire Quenneville? I don’t really think that was the direction they should have went. It wasn’t all that long ago that he directed this team to two Stanley Cups in five years, their last only in 2015.
When I look at these situations, I look at it with eyes in what else is available on the market. Are the Blackhawks going to be able to bring in a head coach of his calibre? The Washington Capitals may already have Quenneville’s number ready to dial after the Caps fell in embarrassing fashion to the Coyotes, 4-1, on their own ice with the Coyotes on a back-to-back. Barry Trotz signed a bigger contract to coach the New York Islanders, so they were left scrambling to find a replacement.
The Hurricanes have been having their own struggles after a pretty nice start in October. They’ve captured a win in just one of their previous seven games. Carolina is on the heels of a shootout loss against the Red Wings on Saturday. The Wings have suddenly snapped to life, while the Hurricanes are going in the wrong direction. Head below for our free Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes pick.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick
The Hurricanes came out of the gates flying with four wins in their first five games. They averaged 5.25 goals per in those four games. Since then, it’s been a battle for the Hurricanes. They have won just three games, while losing nine following that four-game winning streak. I think this is more like the Hurricanes, though. The opening was likely just a mirage and a brief hot run that any bad team can go on, it just happened to come at the beginning of the season.
The Canes have managed 2.1 goals per game in their last ten games, and 1.85 goals scored in regulation in their previous seven outings. That’s a familiar picture for Hurricane fans. Scott Darling will play his former team on Monday night. He struggled in the 3rd period, blowing a 3-1 lead and allowing a goal in the shootout. Darling owns a 0.905 save percentage and 3.01 GAA going into tonight.
The Blackhawks have scored just 1.71 goals per game in their last seven games. If firing Quenneville was supposed to energize this team, management is coming up with a swing and a miss. In any event, should the Hurricanes really be laying this price here? The Hurricanes have been cold as well and have gone just 3-7 in their previous ten games. They shouldn’t be this pricey against anyone in the league. If there is a spot for the Blackhawks to put an end to this losing streak, there is a better than +146 chance that it comes in Carolina on Monday.