Every game is a championship final for the Chicago Blackhawks who are staring down the barrel of a clean sweep by the Canucks. Tonight they are the underdogs on the betting odds board, will that work for them?
After dropping a 3-2 decision in Game Three, the Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in the unfortunate position of becoming just the third defending Stanley Cup Champion to be swept in a best-of-seven series. Vancouver, meanwhile will try for just its second sweep of a best-of-seven series in franchise history on Tuesday.
Canucks find some teeth
Vancouver is showing the type of killer instinct they have failed to show on so many occasions in recent playoffs. After falling behind 1-0 in Game Three, the Vancouver Canucks answered back with goals by Christian Ehrhoff and Daniel Sedin to take the lead back. Mikael Samuelsson then netted the game-winner to put Chicago in a deep three-games-to-none hole. Daniel Sedin has been outstanding this series for Vancouver, scoring three goals and dishing out two assists in his last two games, while brother Henrik has dished out four assists in his last two games.
Captain Jonathan Toews finally broke through with two assists in Game Three after going scoreless in the first two games of the series, but he has not gotten much help from his teammates. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have combined for just one goal in this series. The Hawks’ power play has also been awful, connecting on just 2-of-12 chances. Meanwhile, in goal, Corey Crawford has often let up goals he should stop, as only one of the Canucks nine goals in this series have come when Crawford was screened.
How will tonights game go?
While the outcome of the series does not look promising for the Blackhawks, I expect the defending champs to show some heart and not go down quietly, especially at home. Look for Chicago to extend this series one more game and defeat Vancouver on Tuesday.
CHICAGO is 25-12 ATS (+7.6 Units) when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CHICAGO 3.2, OPPONENT 2.5 - (Rating = 0*)
Dave Lawrence backs up this play on Chicago and thinks the Canucks will have to wait to take the series on home ice and progress in the NHL playoffs.