May 29, 2013 at 2:45 PM #52226
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Blackhawks Ride Momentum Into Game 7 Wednesday Night
The Detroit Red Wings have already overachieved in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In Round 1 they eliminated the second seed Anaheim Ducks and on Wednesday night they will look to better that feat when they take on the number 1 seed Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of their Western Conference semi-final series. The Wings had a ton of momentum heading into Game 5 but after winning three straight games they allowed Chicago’s offense to wake up. Now Detroit faces the unenviable task of taking on the confident Hawks team that has won two straight in front of what is certain to be an absolutely amped United Center crowd.
Detroit Red Wings (31-21-4-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (43-10-1-5)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Series tied 3-3
Wings vs. Hawks Betting Lines from betonline.com
Detroit Red Wings +1½ -160 +190 Ov 5 +118
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +140 -210 Un 5 -130
It’s an old saying but one that rings especially true for the Detroit Red Wings ahead of Game 7 – their best players have to be their best players if they hope to knock off the Hawks. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have been mostly silent against Chicago. Zetterberg is without a goal in the series and Datsyuk has just two points. Jimmy Howard who had been sensational earlier in the series has gone cold – 0-2-0 in his last two starts with a 4.03 GAA and .890 save percentage – not nearly good enough against the juggernaut Hawks.
But there is some good news for Detroit. The Red Wings trailed 3-2 in the first round against Anaheim, and then took the last two games to advance. Datsyuk had a goal and two assists in Game 6 of that series, and Zetterberg collected three goals and two assists in the final two games against the Ducks. Jimmy Howard was also terrific against Anaheim – he was able to step up his game when most needed.
All the worry about the youngsters on the Wings has all but been erased ahead of Game 7 and they have already had the benefit of playing in one Game 7 in the playoffs. Damien Brunner scored his team-high fifth goal of the playoffs on Monday night and third in this series. Jakub Kindl has also been good along with Joakim Andersson and Brendan Smith who has three points in five games.
The Chicago Blackhawks have looked more and more like the team we expected as the series has gone along. It appears as though they have solved Jimmy Howard to the tune of eight goals in the last two games and a few of the stars have rediscovered a long-lost scoring touch. Jonathan Toews snapped out of a frustrating slump with a goal on Saturday night and two assists in Game 6. Marian Hossa scored the first goal of the game on Monday night. Chicago’s third and fourth lines have also been terrific, led by the secondary scoring of Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw.
With four lines going strong it is difficult to imagine the Hawks losing Wednesday night!
Goalie Corey Crawford let in a bad goal to give Detroit a 2-1 lead heading into the third period of Game 6 Monday, but he’s been strong otherwise. Crawford is 2-1-0 in the last three games with a 1.68 GAA and .944 save percentage. He is outplaying Jimmy Howard right now – something that couldn’t be said earlier in the series.
A few trends to consider:
• Under is 8-2-7 in DET last 17 road games.
• Under is 13-5-8 in DET last 26 overall.
• DET are 122-57-11 in their last 190 Wed. games.
• CHI are 6-2 in their last 8 Wed. games.
• CHI are 44-15 in their last 59 vs. Central.
• CHI are 43-16 in their last 59 overall.
• Under is 7-1-4 in the last 12 meetings in Chicago.
• DET are 3-10 in the last 13 meetings.
It took a while for the Chicago Blackhawks to get going but now that they have they look virtually unstoppable. The Hawks suffered from a lack of balanced scoring earlier in the series and their goaltending was just OK. With all of the kinks worked out, I like Chicago to get it done Wednesday against a Detroit team that had a great run but whose luck may have run out.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -210
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