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Betting On Blackhawks Ducks – Anaheim Returns Home, Top ‘Hawks

Posted by Don Melrose on 2/23/2012 2:17:57 PM
betting on blackhawks ducks

Two teams that some sports betting players may have counted out in the NHL’s Western Conference face off on Sunday night as Anaheim hosts Chicago after an eight-game road trip. The Ducks will have a few days to adjust to being home, and that’ll factor into a win over the Blackhawks, who have to play on Saturday night and may be without their captain.

What: NHL Betting
When: Sunday, February 26th, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Pick: Anaheim Ducks

Why Bet On Chicago Blackhawks (33-21-7, 12-15-3 road ahead of Wednesday’s games)

The Blackhawks still have a busy week before they head to Anaheim on Sunday as they finish a three-game homestand against Dallas on Thursday, then they’ll be in Los Angeles on Sunday. Their 2-1 win over Detroit at home on Tuesday was their fourth win in a row after a nine-game skid almost doomed their season, but the Blackhawks are fighting back and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference. Jimmy Hayes sparked the offense with a goal and an assist, while Marcus Kruger also found the back of the net, but the star of the game was Corey Crawford, who made 31 stops for the Blackhawks, who were without captain Jonathan Toews. Crawford has been the subject of trade talks and some Chicago fans were calling for his head over the nine-game losing streak, but he seems to have calmed down and the team is playing much better in front of him.

Toews (upper body) is day-to-day, but it’s tough to figure out when he’ll be back because of the vagueness of “upper body”, although we’re pretty sure that it’s not a concussion, which is what defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (concussion) is dealing with and he missed his seventh straight game against the Red Wings. Blueliner Steve Montador (upper body) is on injured reserve, so no one knows when he’ll be back. The Blackhawks need players like Hayes and Kruger to step up on offense, while the defensemen have to carry a larger load in front of Crawford, but the talent is there for the Blackhawks to snag a top-four seed in the West.

Why Bet On Anaheim Ducks (25-25-10, 15-13-2 home ahead of Wednesday’s games)

NHL betting players have to be surprised that the Ducks are somehow, someway, still in the running for a playoff spot in the West as they’re only six points behind eighth-place Los Angeles going into Wednesday. The Ducks will wrap up an eight-game road trip on Thursday at Carolina, then return home to welcome the Blackhawks, and as they prepare to face the Hurricanes, Anaheim will aim to bounce back from a 3-2 loss in Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Bobby Ryan and Saku Koivu each notched a goal and an assist for the Ducks, while Jonas Hiller stopped just 13 shots as Anaheim held a 30-16 edge in shots on goal. Outside of a tough first period in which they allowed a pair of goals to sniper Steven Stamkos, the Ducks dominated the Lightning and should have come away with something. The Ducks need all the points they can muster as they come to the stretch run. Still, they should be very impressed with the way they handled their business on the road: a 4-3 record, all three losses came by a single goal, including two in the shootout and one was in Detroit, where the Red Wings have won 23 straight games.

The Ducks are essentially fully healthy heading into the stretch run. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Ducks make a move to bolster their team. But this is the risk you run around the trade deadline: do you make a trade or do you allow the chemistry on your team to continue? The Ducks should feel very good about themselves right now as they had an excellent road trip that could have been even better, and now they return home for the first time since February 8th.

How It Will Play Out

Anaheim should be the NHL betting favorites at the Honda Center, where they are 3-2 in their last five meetings with the Blackhawks, and three of those meetings fell under the posted total. If Toews is still out of the lineup, the Ducks will definitely be favored at home.

They’ll also have a little more rest, while the Blackhawks play twice before they meet the Ducks, and one is a Saturday night game. The Ducks should be recovered from their road trip, and in an exciting affair, they’ll edge out the Blackhawks for an online betting victory.

Blackhawks Ducks Betting Pick: Anaheim Ducks

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