The NHL has eight games on the schedule on Tuesday night, including the second half of a two-game series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers. After a slow scoreless first period, the game opened up in the second and third, with the Panthers clearing the Blackhawks for a 5-2 win.
It was the Panthers’ first game of the season and they looked impressive in the victory. The Panthers went into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead, and got three goals in the final frame to pull away from the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are looking for some traction tonight after their third straight loss.
The Blackhawks head into Tuesday winless in three outings. They opened the season with back-to-back losses against the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-1 and 5-2. With Jonathan Toews going on the long-term IR, it’s safe to say that the Patrick Kane and Toews era in Chicago is coming to an end, if it wasn’t already.
Kane and Toews have done a lot for this organization, but all good things must come to an end. Their contracts are taking up a huge portion of their salary cap. Something has to give for the Blackhawks, as they look to rebuild and usher in a new era.
Kane still has something left in the tank. He would attract attention in the trade market. It might be a year or two too late to get the most out of a deal for Kane, but there is going to be a contender that would like to add Kane’s stick to their roster. The 32-year-old has scored a goal and assist through three games to open the year.
Corey Crawford left Chicago to end a career that dated back to 2005 with the Blackhawks. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was expecting to wrap up his career with the New Jersey Devils, but recently opted to retire instead. The Blackhawks are relying on Malcolm Subban and Collin Delia in net. I’m not so sure that’s going to work, but we’ll see how things progress. Head below for our free Blackhawks vs. Panthers pick on January 19, 2021.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Florida Panthers NHL Betting Odds:
Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction:
Along with Patrick Kane potentially on the move to a new team, Duncan Keith is most likely going to finish off his career with a contender elsewhere. Keith is far from the same defenceman that he once was, but could provide depth to a team that needs help on the blue line. Brent Seabrook is out with a back injury and hasn’t been cleared to skate yet. The Blackhawks would like to get younger on defence, and Keith and Seabrook don’t fit into those plans. Seabrook doesn’t have much value in a trade, though.
The defence as a whole has looked slow and ineffective thus far. Chicago has allowed 5 goals in their first three games. They’re the only team in the league that has given up 5 goals in their first three outings. The Blackhawks are dead last in the NHL with 5 goals against per game. This is a team that conceded 3.06 goals per game last season for 16th in the league.
All things considered, that was a success for the Blackhawks. The goaltending situation for them in 2020-21 doesn’t bode well to match that mark, though. Delia posted a GAA of 3.61 and 0.908 save percentage through 16 outings last season. He looked like a borderline backup. Not much has changed for him in the current campaign.
Delia has netted a 5.00 GAA and 0.848 save percentage through two games. Subban got one start, and he did the same with a 5.00 GAA and 0.848 save percentage. The defence has to help them out, but they also have to make a save and keep the Blackhawks in some games. That hasn’t been the case so far, and they face another difficult challenge on Tuesday night.
The Panthers’ offence looked good out of the gate, with 5 goals on opening night. That’s no surprise for the Panthers. They finished sixth in the league last season with an average of 3.3 goals scored a game. First-year Panther, Patric Hortnqvist, should fit in well in this offence. The longtime Predator and Penguin was a nice addition for a Florida team that was already talented offensively. At just about even money, the OVER is a bettable option on Tuesday night.