It’s finally almost over for the Edmonton Oilers, the season that is. After a season that the Oilers want to put in the past, they’ll traverse the rest of the year without much aspirations of accomplishing much the rest of the way. Their must most important decisions will be made in the offseason and not on the ice in the next few months. There are some young, talented prospects on Edmonton, including Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but being able to put it all together has been a work in progress this season. Management will be posed with multiple question marks to get things going in the right direction. Another west coast team that has appeared to do just that is the Calgary Flames. They are out of the Jarome Iginla era and look to have a solid foundation moving forward.
It is kind of hard to say the Blackhawks have been quietly asserting themselves this season, but what we have is a team that is a serious contender to make another run at the Stanley Cup. With a record of 38-21-5, the Hawks are not to be taken lightly. The Oilers really can’t take any team lightly, as they haven’t had much success against the likes of anybody this season. I can’t say that I am in love with this particular card tonight in the NHL. I had to take some second looks at the schedule before making my selection for tonight. However, what I think we have it a winner tonight for our Friday night pick on ice.
Edmonton Oilers @ Chicago Blackhawks
At this point in the season it should be time for the Blackhawks to be focused on what is upcoming, the playoffs. The Blackhawks are a team that have certainly been through the ringer in the playoffs with the current core set of players they’ve had on the team, most notably Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. The both of them have made pretty good careers for themselves, that is an understatement, but another Stanley Cup ring added to the resumes would be quite a phenomenal achievement. With the team they have this season it definitely isn’t out of the question. Their offense has been quite potent and the defense has consistently been ranked as the best in the NHL. At the moment the Blackhawks are 2nd in the NHL with regards to goals against, trailing only the Montreal Canadiens. They have been at the top of the mountain all season long and they have been the most consistent in the business. The offense has been there for the Blackhawks as well, currently averaging 2.81 goals per game.
The Oilers are a team that the Blackhawks have traditionally brought out to the tool-shed and laid a beating on. In their last matchup the Oil got the best of the Blackhawks and took them for a 5-2 win. I just cannot see the Blackhawks’ defense getting beat up like that again against the Oilers, who overall, are scoring only 2.19 goals per game for 28th in the NHL. Moreover, in their last ten games they’ve scored only 2.10 goals while giving up 3.40 on defense. I don’t foresee them being able to come up with a way to stay competitive with them two straight outings, especially a point in the season when the Blackhawks really ratchet it up a notch. Big price on the ML, but I feel confident that the Blackhawks will win by more than a goal so I’ll be betting the spread of -1.5
PICK: BLACKHAWKS -1.5 (-120) 5DIMES.EU – BEST ODDS