Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Bruins are the Bruins are the Bruins. We all know they’re more than capable of beating Chicago and quite frankly more than capable of beating anyone, especially in their house but we’re not going to concern ourselves with that. Boston is not killing it right now by any means with a pedestrian 5-5 record over its last 10 games with seven of those being at home. Five of the B’s last seven games have gone to OT, including each of the last three and the schedule hasn’t been that difficult either. Boston has most recently played the Kings, Colorado, NYR x2, NYI, Washington, Philadelphia x2 and Winnipeg. Does this look like the form of a team that warrants being such a big favorite over the hottest team in the NHL? We think not.
The Blackhawks have now won seven games in a row. The the top line is flying and the Hawks have also found some secondary scoring. Here are the top scorers for the team over those seven contests:
Patrick Kane 6G - 10A - 16 points
Alex Debrincat 4G - 10A - 14 points
Jonathan Toews 7G - 7A - 14 points
Dylan Strome 4G - 10A - 14 points
Brandon Saad 4G - 5A - 9 points
Dominik Kahun 3G - 4A - 7 points
Erik Gustafsson 3G - 2A - 5 points
Brent Seabrook 0G - 5A - 5 points
Drake Caggiula 2G - 2A - 4 points
Maybe the Blackhawks weren’t so crazy to fire Joel Quenneville. It’s no coincidence that since Caggiula was moved to the Kane line that the Blackhawks have started wreaking havoc. Here is the domino effect it has caused:
-Toews and Caggiula have seen a production bump
-Kahun and DeBrincat have moved to play with Strome on some sort of Kid Line, to the benefit of all three. Strome’s production hasn’t suffered despite losing Kane.
-With two great scoring lines, Chicago has become lethal and despite getting the redheaded stepchild treatment, Saad is giving the team a threat on the third line.
Jeremy Colliton has done an excellent job with Strome. He put him on a depth line early on in order to ease him in and ease the pressure. Then he joined Strome at the hip with Kane, allowing him to flourish offensively. And now that Strome is full of swagger and confidence, he’s back with his talented buddy DeBrincat and another peer his age. Kahun has also been brought along beautifully, being given steady ice time. Not on the top line, but always with talent and without really being put in the doghouse despite stretches of lesser production and it’s paying off. If Boston wins here, no surprise but c’mon man, this is a bet with too much value to pass up on and therefore must be played.
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Chicago +179 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.58)