By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
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Money Line: CHI -144 | DET +135
Puck Line: CHI -1.5 (+170) | DET +1.5 (-191)
Total: 5.5 (O -105, U -115)
Puck Drop: 6:00 CDT | Little Caesars Arena | Detroit, MI
Our beloved Blackhawks squandered an early 1-0 lead from a Duncan Keith goal in the first period as they ultimately lost 4-1 in the first of two games against the Red Wings. The Wings received tallies from Troy Stecher (2), newcomer Jakub Vrana, and Michael Raasmussen with an empty netter to bury the Hawks. Let’s get into tonight’s game and we’ll look to cash our 24th win of the year and push us over the 10 unit mark in profitability! Happy #WinnersOnlySaturday!
Chicago Blackhawks (20-19-5)
Chicago is just 4-6 over their last 10 games and they’re really cooling down at the wrong time. They’re in 5th place in the Central Division and find themselves four points back of the Predators. They’ve played 44 games while Nashville has played 45. Meanwhile, the Stars are riding a little bit of a heater and find themselves just a point back of Chicago with two games in their pocket.
The Hawks are 16th in goals for (121) and 23rd in goals against (137). They’re still boasting a top 10 power play at 7th (24.1%) but have seen their penalty killing unit slide all the way down to 30th (73.7%). We’ve been saying it all year, if they can be sharp during special teams play and try to keep it level during 5 vs. 5 play, they’ll be alright. Unfortunately, the killers haven’t been able to keep up their end of the deal. Chicago went 0-3 on the man-advantage in Thursday’s loss but held the Wings to 0-1 in the same category.
Detroit Red Wings (16-23-6)
The Wings are probably thinking they won the Anthony Mantha trade so far. Jakub Vrana found the net in his first game as a Red Wing since coming over from the Capitals. I liked the move for Detroit to dish Mantha as I just don’t see a point in keeping him on the squad if you’re going to finish in the bottom tier of the league each season. Might as well deal him and get what you can. And I think they got a decent haul with Vrana, Richard Panik, a 2021 first-round pick, and 2022 second rounder.
Detroit ranks towards the bottom in the major categories this season. They’re 28th in goals (102), 25th in goals against (140), 30th on the power play (11.8%), and 24th on the kill (76.7%). As for individual efforts, Flip Hronek (2G, 20A) and Dylan Larkin (8G, 14A) split the lead for most points. Thomas Greiss was the man in net in the victory against the Blackhawks on Thursday and he’s now 3-0-1 over his last four starts. But I would imagine they go back to Jonathan Bernier tonight. They’ve been flip-flopping the two over the last week but it isn’t yet confirmed who will start between the pipes.
Final Analysis & Best Bet
It’s unconfirmed who will be the starting goaltenders tonight so I’m going to come back and update this in the early afternoon with my best bet. But I will say, this is a must win game for Chicago so I think Jeremy Colliton will opt for Kevin Lankinen. They cannot afford to drop both games in Detroit and expect to make a run at the playoffs. I’ll be back as soon as the netminders are announced! Let’s have a day!
Update at 3:45 CDT
It’s confirmed that Malcolm Subban will be between the pipes for Jeremy Colliton and the Blackhawks. The Ontario native is 4-5-1 on the season with a 3.14 GAA and he’s stopping 90.3% of shots. But he started four games in March and allowed 3.95 GAA and only stopped 88.5% of shots. I can’t back the Hawks on the money line tonight with Subban starting. As a matter of fact, not many people will back them as we see the current line is down to -136. That means there is action coming in on the Wings.
I’m going to take it to the prop sheet instead, where I’m backing the over on 1.5 Patrick Kane points (+135) for a unit. As we all know, this offense runs through Patrick Kane. He’s racked up 54 points (14G, 40A) on the season which averages out to 1.23 points per game. Kaner also has 16 multi-point games on the year. Chicago is facing off against one of the worst defensive teams in the league and while we still don’t know who is in net tonight for the Wings, I still feel confident taking a shot here with plus money payout. Kane is going to be amped up with the playoffs on the line and if anyone is going to step up and carry this team (like usual), it’s going to be him. Good luck tonight and happy #WinnersOnlySaturday!
Trent’s NHL Betting Record
2021 NHL Season: 23-8-3 (+9.47 units). A $100 bettor has profited $947.32 this NHL szn.