Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST.
8:35 PM EST. Regulation only. The Hurricanes are good. They were good last year, they were good the year before that and they were even good in 2016 but missed the playoffs all three seasons because their goaltending was horrific. Nothing has changed and in fact, one could argue that this year’s goaltending is even worse than the previous three years. It’s actually mind boggling how the same teams continue to ignore the most important position in the game. Goaltending decides more games than anything else and there is proof of that every single night in the NHL with teams that dominate play but lose frequently.
Carolina is coming off a 4-1 loss to the Blues. They outshot St. Louis 38-16. Calgary outshot Anaheim last night 39-24 and lost 3-2. The Penguins outshot Washington last night 42-22, out-chanced them in high danger chances, 21-6 and lost 2-1. We could go through this every night in the NHL and we would find dominating teams that lost outright. Again, goaltending is #1 deciding factor and because of that, we have to fade Scott Darling or whoever else the ‘Canes turn to when the price allows us to. Petr Mrazek is injured and Curtis McElhinney allowed four goals in 16 shots last game so for now, we’ll assume it’ll be Darling facing his former team and that’s bad news for Carolina backers. Darling has more flaws than most and there are a bunch of Chicago players that know his weakest spots. Scott Darling continues to prove that he is not NHL caliber and he is without question one of the worst, if not the worst netminder in the game. When we can fade Darling in an evenly priced game or when he’s favored, we’re going to do it because his chances of losing are far greater than his chances of winning.
The other moving part to this equation is the surprising firing of Joel Quenneville but that’s a story for the publications and not us. What we will suggest however, is that a team usually responds well to a coaching change at least for a few games. Both teams are coming off five losses in a row but for Carolina, it appears things are getting more frustrating by the game. Chicago has tasted success while the ‘Canes remain a team without a goalie and it’s demoralizing after so many years for so many of their players.
OT included - CHICAGO +100 for 1 unit.
Regulation only - CHICAGO -½ +160 for 1 unit.
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CHICAGO -½ +200 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.20)