For The Gamblers!
The Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks play the rubber match in their three games series Monday night when the Hawks, who are coming off a rare loss (albeit in a shootout) invade Rogers Arena to take on a Canucks team that came up with what can best be described as a lackluster win over Detroit Saturday night.
Chicago Blackhawks (34-5-0-5) at Vancouver (25-13-1-6)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, April 22, 2013
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: NHLN-US, CSN-CH, SNET-P
Blackhawks vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog.ca
Chicago Blackhawks +1½ -285 +105 Ov 5 -131
Vancouver Canucks -1½ +240 -116 Un 5 +119
Headline: Possible Western Conference Final Preview? Canucks Host Hawks Monday Night
One streak will end Monday night – the Canucks have won seven straight games on home ice while the Hawks have posted three straight shutouts on the road.
It would seem that there isn’t a whole lot on the line for the Blackhawks on Monday night – first place in the Central Division and the #1 seed in the West is already theirs and a win Monday combined with a Pittsburgh loss will give them the President’s trophy for the first time since 1991. That said the Hawks have gained at least a point in 11 straight games and are 9-0-2 over that span.
Chicago enters Monday’s showdown as one of the premier offenses in the NHL – 3.18 goals per game. Patrick Kane has a goal and four assists in his past three games, Duncan Keith has three points in two games, Marion Hossa has four points in three games and Brent Seabrook is coming off a two goal game last time out in Phoenix.
Jonathan Toews continues to be in the conversation as one of the league’s MVP and the previously struggling power play is 4-for-7 in their last two games. Despite the loss Saturday, Chicago is still a very, very dangerous team.
And then there is the defense and goaltending. They have been the best in the NHL all season long allowing just 2.02 goals per game and they haven’t given up a goal in their last three road outings. Corey Crawford, who lost 2-1 at Vancouver on Feb. 1, likely will make his third straight start in net for the Blackhawks with Ray Emery nursing a lower-body injury.
He owns a meager 1.99 GAA this season and a solid .924 save % age this year.
The Vancouver Canucks have been underwhelming as of late to say the least. They have won just once in regulation in their last five games and they have scored just one goal in each of their last three games. Against Detroit Saturday they had just 14 shots on goal and were very fortunate to escape with the win.
Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond are pointless in their last three games and the power play continues to flounder as the 26th ranked unit in the NHL – not exactly numbers that Canucks fans want to hear heading into the least week of the regular season.
The Canucks can thank Cory Schneider for keeping them looking respectable the last few weeks. Schneider has been superb during Vancouver’s home win streak – a 0.84 goals-against average with three shutouts and a .970 save percentage in the seven victories. Schneider is 9-4-1 in his last 14 games overall with a 1.66 GAA and .941 save % age.
He is likely to start again Monday night – the Canucks will need his to be stellar once again if the Canucks hope to clinch the Northwest Division.
Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction:
A few trends to consider:
• CHI are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. Northwest.
• CHI are 21-6 in their last 27 road games.
• CHI are 21-7 in their last 28 Mon. games.
• Under is 8-1-2 in VAN last 11 Mon. games.
• Under is 6-1-1 in VAN last 8 home games.
• Under is 12-4-2 in VAN last 18 overall.
• CHI are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Vancouver.
There are some whispers that Chicago could rest a few of their top guys down the stretch – no word on whether or not that program starts Monday.
But there is no doubting which is the hotter team ahead of Monday’s clash – the Hawks have been stellar all season long and have not experienced any sort of letdown at any time so far.
Vancouver on the other hand is too inconsistent, too turn-over prone and seemingly too fragile to trust Monday night. Take the Hawks to prove why they are simply the best!