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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
Detroit Red Wings
22-36-5 (8th in Central Division)
28-26- (7th in Atlantic Division)
Seth Jones (29)
Dylan Larkin (59)
Jonathan Toews (14)
Dylan Larkin (23)
Seth Jones (21)
Dylan Larkin (36)
Luke Philp (1)
Jake Walman (15)
Seth Jones (2.65)
Shots (Per Game)
Dylan Larkin (3.08)
The Chicago Blackhawks will make their way to Detroit to face the Red Wings for the second time this season. Chicago had success against Detroit in their first matchup and won 4-3 in overtime.
Neither of these teams will make the Playoffs this year. The Blackhawks are going through a rebuild and are at the bottom of the Western Conference. The Red Wings are doing a little better and are six points out of the second Wild Card spot. They could make the playoffs but would have to pass many teams along the way. I do not expect them to make up that ground.
The Blackhawks have entered full rebuild mode. They have the slowest offense in the NHL and one of the slowest defenses. They are entering a new chapter in their franchise. They also traded away their top offensive players, Max Domi and Patrick Kane, so it is safe to say they are solely looking toward the future. This season is forgettable for them, but they may be making deep playoff runs in a few years.
The Blackhawks do not have many quality players but are seeing decent seasons from Seth Jones, Taylor Raddysh, and Andreas Athanasiou. These three players are below 30 years old and have at least 26 points.
Petr Mrazek will likely get the start for the Blackhawks. The goaltender is struggling this season and has an .891 save percentage. He must play a little better today to give his team a chance.
The Red Wings are not rebuilding, but they also do not have a great roster. They did not make trades at the Trade Deadline, so it is hard to say what direction they are headed. Their offense and defense rank a little below average and need improvement. However, they are the better team in this matchup. They have a couple of strong offensive players and should be able to score a few goals.
The Red Wings are led by Dylan Larkin, David Perron, Dominik Kubalik, and Filip Hronek. Larkin is the top player in this group, but the other three can all hold their own and have at least 38 points.
Ville Husso will probably get the start for Detroit. The 28-year-old is having a mediocre season. He has 23 wins (tenth-most in the NHL) but also has a .904 save percentage to go along with it. While he is the starter on the Red Wings, he would be a backup for most good teams.
The Red Wings have home-ice advantage and a more experienced team. Play it safe and bet on Detroit.
The Blackhawks are not expected to win but will if they score first and limit the Red Wings’ shots.
The Blackhawks are the worse team on paper and have very few offensive weapons. However, if they can find a way to score the first goal, they can win. Chicago rarely scores first, but they significantly increase their chances of getting the W when they do.
The Blackhawks have a bottom-ten defense and allow 33.7 shots per game. That is not acceptable and will not work in this game. If Chicago allows 33 or 34 shots, they will lose. However, if the Blackhawks tighten up on defense and allow 28-30 shots, they can win.
The Red Wings are the favorites and will win by drawing penalties and laying out big hits.
The Red Wings’ power play unit is nothing special, but it is better than the Blackhawks’ unit. They convert 20% of their opportunities, so they are sometimes reliable. Detroit has only scored two goals in the previous two games, so their power play unit must be sharp and put a puck in the back of the net.
The Red Wings are playing at home and need to get the crowd on their side. There are a few ways to do this, but I recommend laying out big hits early. That will set the tone for the rest of the game and get the crowd on their feet.
This is the obvious choice. Seth Jones is the top defenseman on the Blackhawks and now leads the Blackhawks in points (29), with the trades of Max Domi and Patrick Kane. In addition, Jones is coming off a two-goal game against the Ottawa Senators.
Jones must take charge of the Chicago defense when he is on the ice and look for opportunities to score or set up his teammates.
This is also the obvious choice. Dylan Larkin leads the Red Wings in points (59), goals (23), and assists (36). He is Detroit’s strongest offensive player and must play like it today.
If Larkin brings his A-game, the Red Wings will be in a good position to win.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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