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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers Gambling Preview & Free NHL Picks

Blackhawks vs Flyers NHL Handicapping

Tuesday night’s Blackhawks-Flyers game is a story of two teams on different trajectories; one mired in mediocrity and one surging along. A win for the home team would keep that trend going – much to the chagrin of people in the Windy City.

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Date/Time: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7:30 pm EST
Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia PA
Blackhawks -108 / OU: 5.5 (-110)

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Chicago’s pace has slowed down from its dominant form of earlier this season. Philly, meanwhile, started out the campaign horribly, ranking near the bottom of the awful Metropolitan division. Yet the Flyers are 7-2-1 in their last 10, rejuvenated by the play of Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek.

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Promising youngster Matt Read has also really found his groove. The Broadstreet Bullies are coming off consecutive wins against the detested Penguins, who are considered by many to be the class of the Eastern Conference. A couple of wins like that will do wonders for the team’s collective self-esteem, and the proof is in the pudding.

Philadelphia’s power play and penalty kill units have really come alive in the latter half of the season, which has worked wonders in the standings. That PK unit will be tested with the return of Marian Hossa to the lineup for the Hawks; it couldn’t come a moment too soon for the defending Cup champions.
Hossa returned in Chicago’s last game, a 4-1 victory against the Red Wings, and he contributed a goal and two assists. Despite having an extremely talented lineup in general, Hossa’s presence can take Chicago’s offense to another level.

It’s not that Chicago has been terrible, the Hawks just can’t find a level of consistency that should be commensurate with a team of their ability. Tuesday night might also be a classic case of “the wolf climbing the hill is hungrier than the wolf on top”.

The Flyers are hungry for postseason hockey and the Blackhawks can bask in a couple of Stanley Cup wins over the past few years (including last season). The Flyers are on a roll and definitely emerging as a darkhorse contender in the East.

Chicago still has its presence in the playoffs well under control, but that might also lead to a bit of carelessness near the end of the regular season.

Some of Philly’s many acquisitions over the past couple seasons are finally starting to bear fruit, and it can’t come soon enough for a tortured fan base.

The Philly faithful are cantankerous at the best of times, and with the current state of the Sixers (21 straight losses), the perpetually underachieving Eagles and the over-the-hill Phillies, southern Pennsylvanians are starved for something to get excited about. A late-charging Flyers playoff push is a wonderful tonic.

I expect this to be a close game with an emphasis on speed and a quick transition game from both benches. The Flyers should come out with a tremendous effort in their own barn after the pair of wins over their in-state rivals. The Wells Fargo Center should be bumping for this tilt.

There’s always a part of you hesitant to wager against a club as talented as Chicago, but all the same I expect the good vibes to continue in the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia 4, Chicago 3 (OT)


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About James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!