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Blackhawks Canucks Betting – Vengeful Canucks Will End Chicago Cup Defense

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/12/2011 4:53:03 PM
blackhawks canucks betting

Sports betting odds have labeled Vancouver as the Stanley Cup favorites after a fantastic regular season, and as a reward, they’ll get to meet their bitter enemies in the first round, the defending champions from Chicago. The Blackhawks have been a thorn in Vancouver’s side over the past couple of seasons, and we’re betting on the Canucks to avenge their postseason exits this year.

  • What: NHL Betting
  • When: Game 1 begins on Wednesday, April 13th, 10:00 PM ET in Vancouver
  • Where: Games 1,2,5,7 (Rogers Arena, Vancouver); Games 3,4,6 (United Center, Chicago)
  • Pick: Vancouver Canucks
  • Why Bet On Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks tore through the NHL, and their 117 points is 10 more than Washington, who were next in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. Their numbers are ridiculous: first in goals scored, first in goals against, first in power-play efficiency, and third in penalty killing. Daniel (first) and Henrik (third) Sedin are in the top three in points, Daniel and Ryan Kesler had 41 goals apiece, while Mikael Samuelsson, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond are all capable of putting the puck in the net. Christian Ehrhoff is seventh in the league in points for defensemen, and the Canucks have been able to maintain order on the blue line despite a number of injuries to their defense throughout the year. In goal, the Canucks were able to rest Roberto Luongo down the stretch for a couple of reasons: one, the Canucks had built up a giant lead in the standings and two, Cory Schneider has played very well in his 25 games of work. Luongo is obviously still the starting netminder, but if Schneider has to go in goal, it wouldn’t affect the Canucks’ NHL betting odds.

The only thing that seems it can derail Vancouver is the plethora of injuries to their blue line. Alex Edler came back for the last two games of the regular season, but he was out for almost three months with an ailing back. Dan Hamhuis was out for a couple of weeks with a concussion, but he came back for the finale against Calgary. Essentially all of Vancouver’s defense has been hurt at one point or another except for Ehrhoff, so that has to be watched.

Why Bet On Chicago Blackhawks

The defending Stanley Cup champions backed into the playoffs thanks to a loss by Dallas, and the Blackhawks have been inconsistent over the last two months. But, all you have to do is make it to the postseason and anything can happen. The Blackhawks still have players like captain Jonathan Toews, arguably the best big-game player in the league, and guys like Marian Hossa (three straight appearances in the Stanley Cup finals), Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, who definitely slowed down after a blazing start. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are still the top defense pairing, while Brian Campbell and Niklas Hjalmarsson are riding shotgun. Corey Crawford has been a revelation in goal, but he’s fallen off a bit since a red-hot December and January when he took the starting job from veteran Marty Turco. The talent is there in Chicago, even though they lost a lot of players from last year’s Cup run, but they’ve just been streaky.

And that’s the problem with the Blackhawks: they’re up and down and you have no idea what to expect. Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Brent Sopel and Andrew Ladd are all gone, and all four played big roles in Chicago winning the Stanley Cup, along with goalie Antti Niemi, Ben Eager and John Madden. Dave Bolland hasn’t played since early March because of a concussion, and Troy Brouwer has been out of the lineup for a week with an ailing shoulder. This puts a lot of pressure on their top players and while the likes of Toews and company are great players, they won’t be able to beat the Canucks by themselves.

How The Series Will Play Out

The Canucks are the NHL betting favorites at -215, while the Blackhawks are rated at +185, and the two split four meetings this season, and the home team won two of those games. These two have a history as the Blackhawks have eliminated the Canucks in two straight postseasons, in six games in the second round. Luongo has been awful against the Blackhawks in the playoffs, and most of the time it was Byfuglien who was in the slot, disrupting Luongo to get him off his game. But do the Blackhawks have a similar player who will do the same thing?

We don’t think they do, and we think the Canucks were praying to get the Blackhawks in the playoffs so they could extinguish this jinx. The Canucks will get the suspended Raffi Torres back for Game 3, and Maxim Lapierre will get a lot of ice time going up against Toews. The Canucks have too much talent and only a rash of injuries at the same time will derail them. In addition to the motivation of past playoff failures, bet on Vancouver in your online betting picks.

Canucks Blackhawks Betting Pick: Vancouver Canucks

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