All great teams endure cold streaks. All great handicappers endure cold streaks. That is just the nature of playing sports and betting on sports. The Chicago Blackhawks are one of those teams at the moment. They are a great team that will once again threaten in the playoffs, but lately have been looking to get back on track. Losers of their last three games, the Hawks welcome the Florida Panthers to town tonight where things have been a little uneven for them lately as well. I can’t find anybody that predicted the Panthers would be 26-21-4-8 and fighting for a playoff berth. So, their latest woes are easier to take for Panthers’ fans. The Panthers have gone 2-5 in their last seven games, like the Blackhawks, they are looking to put together a nice run to end the month of February. Once March comes along, we will start to see the real teams from the pretenders. The Panthers are on the bubble in that regard. A win here on the road against the Blackhawks would do wonders to staking their claim as a legitimate playoff team.
The Blackhawks have already cemented their worth. Even if they lose tonight I don’t think too many are going to be worried about the Hawks moving forward. They won the Stanley Cup in the 2012-2013 season and could very well do it again this year. After three hard losses against the Red Wings, Avalanche, and Bruins the Blackhawks have to be hungry to kick that snide. Losing 6-2 to the Bruins in their last matchup on Sunday in front of nationally televised crowd can’t be sitting well with them. The Bruins desperately needed that game, but the Blackhawks have no excuses to getting blasted in such a manner. Will they channel their frustrations into a win tonight? We’ll see in Chicago.
Florida Panthers @ Chicago Blackhawks
When I see an attractive price above +140 that I think has a 50/50 shot of winning I have to take a look at it. I think this pick has a little more than a 50/50 chance of hitting despite what the odds makers are saying with this line. The Blackhawks are going to look to rid themselves of that three game losing streak, and I think they do just that tonight against the Panthers. Great teams bounce back at home after a few hard games and I do think the Blackhawks are a great. At least in the upper echelon of NHL rosters. While the defense hasn’t looked good the past couple games, the Blackhawks still are a good unit defensively. They are allowing an average of 2.35 goals per game on the season, which is 3rd in the NHL. I think their latest struggles are just a blip on the map and they will get back to playing solid, fundamental hockey like they are accustomed to doing.
I like their defense, in particular, to take this game over tonight. The Panthers have had a heck of a time trying to score this season. I believe this presents the perfect opportunity for the Blackhawks’ defense to get it back on track. A team like the Panthers is certainly one you would like to see your struggling defense play to make things alright again. The Panthers are 25th in scoring, averaging only 2.32 goals per game. In their last games they’ve scored only 2 goals in this respect. This is the fifth game in a grueling road trip for the Panthers. Look for the Panthers to be looking forward to getting back to warmth in Florida, while the Blackhawks knock them off by more than a goal at a very nice price of +155.
Pick – BLACKHAWKS -1.5 (+155) 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)