The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks hook up tonight in Chicago, where the Flyers will try and keep things hot, while the Blackhawks will be looking to recover after a bad stretch of games. Talking about the Hawks having a bad stretch of games feels like a taboo subject. They are one of the most consistent teams in the NHL, but the best even hit ruts. The best know how to get out of those holes and turn it into a positive. Despite losing four of their last five games, nobody is doubting what the Blackhawks are capable of doing. It may be best that they get it out of their system now, instead of in the playoffs, which are coming up shortly.
The last time we saw them on the ice, the Blackhawks got whipped pretty good by the LA Kings. It was a good old fashioned beat down, as the Kings dismantled the Blackhawks in Chicago by the score of 5-0. You don’t see that very often, and you especially don’t see it occur very often in Chicago. It was a nice rebound win for the Kings after they disappointed us Saturday night.
The Blackhawks still sit pretty with a record of 41-23-5 record. They will be one of the teams to look out for in the playoffs. If Patrick Kane gets red hot at the right time, the Blackhawks will be extremely difficult to slow down. The Flyers on the other hand, are just looking at squeezing into the playoffs. Last night we cashed a ticket with them, a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Flyers came out flying all over the ice, putting up 23 shots in the 1st period alone. The Red Wings recorded only 3 shots! They certainly looked like the team who wants to make the playoffs more.
With the win, the Flyers close in closer to earning a wildcard for the postseason. They’ve developed into a dangerous team who cannot be taken lightly. The Blackhawks have appeared to be lackadaisical in their execution lately. Play like that again tonight, and it could turn into another loss for the home team. One has to believe the Blackhawks come out hungry, with a much better effort. We’ll see how it all goes down, as these two classic franchises tangle in downtown Chicago.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks NHL Pick
If you’re a Flyers’ fan, you have to be feeling pretty good about your team. There weren’t many expectations for them, but I contend that they have done a good job of exceeding their original projection. Thanks to the offense which has heated up, the Flyers have put them in a position to garner a playoff spot. The offense was lifeless early on, but they have found their element the last two months or so. Rookie sensation Shayne Gostisbehere has been some kind of player for the Flyers this season. He did play briefly in two games last season, but for all intent and purposes, let’s say he’s a rookie. As a defenseman, Gostisbehere has recorded 16 goals and 23 assists. He was once against responsible for a goal last night. He is the main reason why the Flyers have the playoffs in reach.
The Flyers have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten matchups. Thanks to their string of success lately they’re 33-23-12. The offense has been all over, scoring 3.54 goals per game in their last ten games. The defense and Steve Mason nearly gave it up last night, but the offense was too much for the Red Wings. The Flyers ultimately finished the contest with 46 shots on net. The Blackhawks’ defense has looked vulnerable lately, allowing 3.50 goals on average in their last ten matchups. They’ve allowed 13 goals in their last three games. People want to bring up the point that the Blackhawks don’t have the same defense as they had previously, during their Stanley Cup runs.
And they are right, the Blackhawks lost some on defense due to free agency in the offseason. The Flyers are a trendy pick lately and we came out on top last night with them. However, this appears to be a tough spot for them. The Blackhawks have lost three straight games, including their last game at home. Too high of a price for me though on Chicago, though. I see the Blackhawks coming to life on offense in any event, against a tired Flyer defense. I am going to take a look at the OVER 5 tonight in Chicago.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-125)