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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings Free Game 4 Pick | NHL Preview

Hawks vs Red Wings Handicapping

A couple of weeks ago it seemed unimaginable that the Chicago Blackhawks could be outworked, outhustled and yes, even outclassed by any team in the NHL. But that’s precisely what is happening as the Detroit Red Wings prepare to take a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semi-final series with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Chicago Blackhawks (41-9-1-5) at Detroit Red Wings (30-19-4-5)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 23, 2013
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Broadcast: CBC, RDS2, NBCSN
Wings lead series 2-1
Hawks vs. Wings betting Lines from betonline.com
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +220 -137 Ov 5 +106
Detroit Red Wings +1½ -260 +124 Un 5 -117

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President’s Trophy Winning Hawks in Trouble Versus Wings?

The Wings are taking a page out of what has worked against them in the past – a gritty style and strong adherence to a defensive system. Chicago needs to find a way to crack the will of Detroit – the Wings game plan is working to perfection at this stage of the series.

The Chicago Blackhawks are in a bit of a funk! Monday night’s game marked only the ninth regulation loss in 56 games this season for the Blackhawks and only the third time they have dropped two straight in regulation. They have been outscored 7-2 combined in those two games and now face another test on the road just to get the series back to Chicago even. The goal scoring has dried up (thanks in large part to Jimmy Howard) and the reliable goaltending has been a tad suspect during their two game slide.

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Corey Crawford has been shaky of late – he hasn’t been able to minimize the effects of the mistakes being made in front of him like he did all season long. Crawford won five of his first six games in the playoffs, shutting out Minnesota once and allowing a total of eight goals during his strong start. But he has given up a combined seven goals over the last two games after allowing one goal in the series opener. He has to be better but his team also has to find a way to solve Jimmy Howard as well.

How good has Jimmy Howard been? He has won four of his last five starts and is averaging two goals against and 34-plus saves. He made 29 saves in Game 3 against the league`s best offense and just may be getting into the heads of the Chicago Blackhawks. Howard is certainly winning the anticipated goaltending duel so far.[ad-4437448]

On offense it has been the young and the old getting it done for the Wings. The Red Wings received highlight-reel goals from rookie Gustav Nyquist and veteran Pavel Datsyuk, some valiant hard work from Drew Miller on their way to a Game 3 win. Demian Brunner has been terrific for Detroit with four goals and eight points, second on the team in scoring to captain Henrik Zetterberg who has provided not only the leadership and the scoring but is also tasked with slowing down Jonathan Toews – a big job that is being done to perfection by the Wings Captain.

These aren`t your father`s free-wheeling Wings. They are patient, they play within a system and they have become the type of team that would have driven the 2005 Red Wings absolutely crazy!

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• Under is 8-0-1 in CHI last 9 road games.
• Under is 7-2-4 in CHI last 13 overall.
• CHI are 42-14 in their last 56 vs. Central.
• Under is 8-2-3 in DET last 13 vs. Central.
• Under is 6-2-2 in DET last 10 home games.
• Under is 14-5-8 in DET last 27 overall.
• CHI are 9-2 in the last 11 meetings in Detroit.
• CHI are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.

I can’t help but love the way the Wings are playing but I also can’t help but think that the Chicago Blackhawks needed a bit of a wake-up call. This is the first adversity this team has faced all year long. They are too fast, too deep and too prideful to not go down with a bigger fight.

Chicago responds and this becomes a very, very interesting series as it shifts back to the Windy City!

Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -137


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.