NHL Hockey Betting: Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks

There are now three teams remaining in the hunt for the Stanley Cup following the elimination of the New York Rangers on Friday night. The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Series by a final score of 2-0 and will now await the winner of Saturday’s Western Conference Game Seven. The Chicago Blackhawks played their best game of the series on Wednesday night to tie this series at 3-3 and set up Saturday’s ‘winner take all’ contest at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

The Blackhawks caught a break on scheduling with an extra day between Games Six and Seven. That should help their thin defensive corps to be at full strength for the biggest game of the season. The Hawks’ top four defenders have played well but they’ve had trouble getting them any time off the ice due to injuries and a lack of viable roster options. That’s been one of the biggest storylines of the series but in reality these teams are very evenly matched. The Ducks have won 7 of the last 15 meetings head to head but Chicago has won 4 of the last 7 in Anaheim.

While the Ducks have the size and physicality that’s become less of a factor as the series has progressed. That’s not surprising–size can beat talent in the short term but the longer the series has continued the Blackhawks have been better able to to match up with the Ducks and play ‘their’ game. Chicago has a ton of talented playmakers with postseason experience led by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Lost in the conversation about this series is the fact that Chicago in reality has an edge at the goaltending position. For whatever reason, Corey Crawford doesn’t get the respect he deserves but we’d take him in a heartbeat over Frederik Anderson. There’s a reason that Chicago had the #2 team defense in the NHL this season–it isn’t all Crawford but as the team’s #1 goalie clearly he played a part.

At any rate, this is no worse than a toss up. Since we’ve got a ‘coin flip’ situation we’ll take the price with the Blackhawks.