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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Washington Capitals taking on the Chicago Blackhawks November 7 at United Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.
Two struggling teams meet in the Windy City Friday night in what is a preview for this season’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
Daily NHL Hockey Odds
Washington (4-5-1-2) at Chicago (7-5-1-0)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, November 7, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: NHLN-US, SNE, SNO, SNP, CSN-DC+, CSN-CH+
Capitals NHL Lines: +1½ -180 +170
Blackhawks NHL Lines: -1½ +160 -187
NHL Over/Under Lines: 5.5
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The Washington Capitals will try to right the ship and snap a five game losing streak when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks who haven’t been great out of the gate despite sending out one of the more talented rosters in the league.
Can Washington snap out of its funk or will Friday’s game be a stepping stone for the Hawks to finally kick start their season?
Let’s take a look.
When Barry Trotz was hired in Washington, it looked like a match made in heaven – a team desperate for some sort of defensive identity but full of big-name players. But things haven’t gone so well for Trotz and the Caps – their goaltending is woeful and the offense hasn’t been able to make up for the goals against.
Let’s start with the defense. The Caps looked to be on an OK path early in the season but their recent five game slide has exposed this team for what they really are – terrible in the defensive end. During their losing streak Washington has surrendered a whopping 22 goals – no team will have success with that level of futility.
The Caps have been OK in surrendering just 25.2 shots per game so far but the goaltending has been brutal. Neither Braden Holtby of Justin Peters have a save percentage higher than .891 – neither is making any timely saves and neither is giving the Caps any sense of optimism.
It has to be disheartening for a team averaging 3.08 goals for per game to constantly be behind despite playing OK in front of their keepers. Washington’s power play is at a very good 29.3% and six Caps players have three or more goals on the season. Simply put most are doing their jobs but the ones that aren’t are affecting this team drastically.
The Chicago Blackhawks are somehow struggling to find the back of the net – it is their defense and goaltending that have them above .500 on the season. The team is surrendering a league-low 1.77 goals per game but the offense is generating just 2.46 – 21st in the NHL.
The good news is that the Hawks scored five goals last time out against the Canadiens – Patrick Kane scored his first goal in eight games against Montreal and the Chicago power play that had been operating at around 18% looked much better.
That said Brad Richards and Marion Hossa each have just two goals this season, Brandon Saad has just one goal and Patrick Sharp – one of Chicago’s biggest threats night-in and nigh-out is on the shelf for the next four weeks with a leg injury. Chicago’s identity surrounds their ability to score at will – something that isn’t happening at this point in time.
Thank goodness for Corey Crawford who has a 4-2 record and a 1.54 GAA and .938 save percentage.
NHL Gambling Trends
• Under is 8-1-2 in CHI last 11 overall.
• CHI are 66-26 in their last 92 home games.
The Washington Capitals are one of the highest scoring teams in the league right now – but they have been among the most generous teams the last couple of weeks as well. Chicago, despite struggling lately is still an uber-talented team and off a five goal performance has shown an ability to net their share as well.
NHL Betting 4* Free Play
Goals will be scored in this game – I’m going with the Over in this one.
The Over 5 1/2 goals
There is no value in betting on the Hawks – the Over 5 1/2 goals is the play here.
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