Hurricanes vs Blackhawks Pick
NHL betting action sees the Carolina Hurricanes taking on the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday March 2nd at the United Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.
Carolina vs Chicago
Date/Time: Monday, March 2 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Venue: United Center, Chicago IL
Carolina +175, Chicago -220
Though there is a gaping hole in Chicago’s offensive attack with the injury to winger Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks are still in the heart of the Western Conference playoff contenders.
The same can’t be said for the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, which, tied with Toronto for 27th in the league, are surely adopting “Tank Nation” by this point.
To cushion the loss of their goals and points leader, the Hawks acquired veteran Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes just before the trade deadline.
Vermette has put up a solid season, with 35 points in 63 games, but it isn’t a tonic for losing one of the most offensively gifted players in the world. Kane is out until at least some point during the playoffs, so Chicago must lean on scoring from other sources.
Keeping the puck out of the net isn’t a problem for Chi-town; the Blackhawks rank third in the league in goals-against (averaging 2.3 per contest). For sustained success, the Hawks need to keep up the solid goaltending and defensive work.
Blueliners like Duncan Keith, Nicklas Hjalmarsson and newly-acquired vet Kimmo Timonen make the stout defensive play a reality.
For the Hurricanes part, they’re living up to their namesake – it must feel like weathering a storm.
With a 24-30-7 record, good for just 55 points, the ‘Canes haven’t been competitive at any point during the 2014-15 campaign. Carolina’s scoring leader is defenseman Justin Faulk, that is about all you need to know.
The Hurricanes rank dead last in the Metropolitan division and their leading goal scorer, reliable vet Eric Staal, is nursing an injury. Carolina has already offloaded some movable pieces before the deadline and should be focused on little more than acquiring draft picks.
You have to like Chicago in this one; aside from the obvious reasons, the Blackhawks are still very competitive in the Central division and are scrapping for positioning amongst Nashville, St. Louis and the surprising Winnipeg Jets.
Also, Carolina has trouble scoring (26th in the NHL) even when it isn’t playing water-tight teams like Chicago.
It would be nice to see Vermette assert himself on the scoresheet in his new digs; with a good mix of character and talent on the roster (though the latter is rather diminished without Kane) it’s a good bet it will occur.
Coming off an ugly 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Hawks intend to set the ship right. Expect them to do just that at home versus the lowly Hurricanes on Monday night.
NHL 4* Free Pick: Chicago 4, Carolina 1