The Chicago Blackhawks opened the season with the best odds to win the Stanley Cup in the 2016-17 season. When putting these odds together, the top sportsbooks took into account just how well Chicago had been playing over the last couple of years. The Blackhawks had been setting the precedent for what a model team should look like in the NHL. Chicago had enough speed to skate circles around their opponents, and enough strength to dominate possession time, and with those two skills the Blackhawks would generate endless scoring opportunities. But now, two weeks into the NHL season, the Blackhawks have 7 games under their belt. And from what we’ve seen, this Blackhawk team has little resemblance to their recent teams.
In recent years, picking the Blackhawks on a bet on NHL money lines was one of the safest predictions that could be made. This year, doubt is starting to sneak into those bettors who enjoyed favoring Chicago. The Blackhawks are losing face-offs, trailing pucks, and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. This type of play has given way to the Blackhawk’s 3-3-1 record. Although that record isn’t terrible, it also doesn’t reflect the odds that the top sportsbooks were giving Chicago in the preseason.
The Blackhawks started the season on a high note when they beat the St. Louis Blues at home. After that game, the Blackhawks traded losses with the Nashville Predators, before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers. In the games that followed, Chicago would put up similar performances. They lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets, before beating the Toronto Maple Leafs and then once again losing, this time to the Calgary Flames. With such inconsistency through the first two weeks of the season, it’s easy to see why the top sportsbooks are starting to favor Chicago less and less. Up next for the Blackhawks are the New Jersey Devils. Chicago will enjoy a 3-day rest before facing the Devils, but will that be enough to get this team back on track?
On Friday, October 28th the Chicago Blackhawks will be heading to Newark, New Jersey to take on the Devils at the Prudential Center. Fans looking to catch the game can tune in at 7:30 PM EST. Notwithstanding how erratic the Blackhawks have been this season, what kind of hockey have the Devils been playing?
Unlike Chicago, New Jersey came into this season with some of the worst odds available. And yet, the Devils currently have fewer losses than the Blackhawks. Coming into this game, the Devils are sitting at 3-2-1. The Devils started the season on a low note when they lost their first two games. However, New Jersey quickly bounced back with impressive wins against the Anaheim Ducks, the Boston Bruins, the Minnesota Wild, and the Arizona Coyotes. The Devils will be coming into this game red hot and fans will be eager to see if they can keep the hot streak going. If New Jersey can come in with the same energy they’ve been displaying in their recent games, there’ll be little hope for Chicago.