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Canucks vs Blackhawks Picks – Blackhawks End Canucks’ Season Once Again

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/28/2010 3:32:28 PM
NHL odds – Blackhawks in Seven

Online betting players watched Vancouver and Chicago stage an exciting second-round series in last year’s playoffs, so they figured they would do it again.  The Blackhawks and Canucks know each other very well, and this series should go the distance, but Chicago will come out on top again.

NHL betting odds: Blackhawks in Seven

The Story

The Blackhawks survived a six-game scare from Nashville to put the Predators away, while the Canucks had their hands full in their six-game series with Los Angeles, setting a rematch of last year’s Western Conference semifinals.  The Blackhawks dropped the Canucks in six games, including a 7-5 barnburner at home in the final game, and the Canucks have been waiting for this rematch all season.

The two split four meetings this season, with two of the games decided by one goal, and each team won a game at home and on the road.  These two developed a hard-fought rivalry over the regular season, complete with trash-talking and fights, and six players from both teams even participated in the classic Canada-USA gold-medal game that went to overtime, which was won by the Canadians.

Who Has The Edge On Offense: Canucks vs Blackhawks?

In the regular season, the Canucks scored one more goal than the Blackhawks, and the two were the highest-scoring teams in the West.  Both teams are getting points from their big players, as Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane have all scored at least seven points, while Mikael Samuelsson, Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler have scored at least six points.  Samuelsson is actually second behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with 11 points, while leading the league with seven postseason goals, and he carried the team until the Sedins started to heat up later in the series.

The Blackhawks got a boost when Brian Campbell came back from his broken collarbone, and while he has yet to notch a point, the Predators had to be aware of his presence on the ice, which created space for the forwards.  The Blackhawks won the last three games of the series with Campbell in the lineup, and now he has his game legs under him. Campbell gives the Canucks the slightest of NHL betting edges on offense.

Edge: Blackhawks

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Canucks vs Blackhawks?

Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo is the key to the Canucks’ sportsbook odds, and while he showed flashes of brilliance in the first round, he was also shaky, particularly on the road where he allowed 11 goals in three games in Los Angeles.  The Canucks’ penalty killing got destroyed by the Kings’ power play, and they’re going to have to sort that out because the Blackhawks’ power play will improve with Campbell on the blue line.  However, there are no Canucks with a minus rating after the first round, which is impressive.

Chicago’s Antti Niemi also struggled early, but he did rack up a pair of shutouts against Nashville.  Duncan Keith is going to have to pick up his game as he averages the most ice time on the team, but he ended up with a -4 rating in the first round.  Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Sopel have been the best Chicago defensemen so far, so Keith and Brent Seabrook need to get it going, which is why Vancouver has a small edge.

Edge: Canucks

Who Has The Edge In Experience: Canucks vs Blackhawks?

This is pretty even, but the Blackhawks may have an edge because they beat the Canucks last year, only to go on and get thumped in five games by Detroit.  All of the players who played in that gold-medal game will also have gained tremendous big-game experience.  These teams know each other extremely well, so there will be no surprises.

Edge: Even

Who Will Win The Canucks vs Blackhawks Series?

The Chicago defense is more experienced than the Los Angeles blue-line group that Vancouver faced in the second round, which means that they should be able to keep the Canucks quiet on the offensive end, but they’re going to have to a better job on Samuelsson, who is the only Vancouver player with a Stanley Cup ring.  Luongo will also be a huge factor in this game, as the Vancouver goalie must shake the demons of last year’s Game 6 loss when he was hammered for seven goals.  He fared well in the Olympics, but ironically, he was protected by a few Blackhawks like Toews, Keith and Seabrook.  The Canucks will also miss Willie Mitchell’s diligence on the blue line.  This one goes the distance, but with home-ice advantage, the sports betting edge goes to the Windy City.

Pick: Blackhawks in Seven



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