Split our picks last night. Smaller NHL board tonight with just 5 games, and I have one pick here. Please stick to bankroll management (1 unit = 1% of bankroll).
Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancouver Canucks – CANUCKS TO WIN (-115)
(Note: I’m risking 1.15 units to win 1 unit)
*I got -115 at 5Dimes.com – other sportsbooks have Canucks up to -130 – shop around*
The Blackhawks come into tonight’s game 11-4-3, while Canucks are 9-8-1. These two met back on November 6th in Chicago, with the Canucks winning 6-2 as underdogs. 5 of those 6 goals scored by the Canucks came on the powerplay, which highlights the special team problems the Blackhawks are having this season. Chicago sits 26th in the league in penalty killing at 76.4%, and 23rd in the league with their powerplay converting at 13.2%. On the other hand Vancouver’s powerplay (26.7%) ranks first in the NHL, and their penalty killing is 11th at 86.5%. Tonight the Canucks will have Cory Schneider in net, but he has been solid this season. Although he is just 2-3, he does have a low 2.38 GAA and .918 SV%. Corey Crawford is in net for the Blackhawks. Crawford has let in 3 or more goals in 6 of his last 7 starts, pushing his season GAA up to 2.72. He is 8-4-2 with a .905 SV% on the season. These two teams went 7 games in last years postseason, but the Canucks have taken 7 of their last 10 meetings and 4 of 5 in their last 5 in Vancouver. Take note Vancouver is 89-40 in their last 129 home games, and 65-30 in their last 95 games as a favorite. Also note that the Blackhawks are just 2-6 in their last 8 games as an underdog. Don’t let the better record of the Blackhawks fool you here, as Vancouver has been just as good or better overall. Home ice is big tonight, as the Canucks don’t lose at home often, and they will come out fired up for this rivalry game in front of their home crowd. The Canucks make it 5 of their last 6 vs the Blackhawks at home tonight with a win. Take Vancouver to win.