NHL Hockey Betting: Anaheim Ducks at Chicago Blackhawks

Added May 21, 2015 by Levi Watkins

Game Three of the Western Conference Finals takes place at the United Center tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Anaheim Ducks. Chicago earned a split in the first two games played at the Honda Center in Anaheim and will look to go up 2-1 here. The teams are coming off a marathon Game Two which went to triple overtime before Markus Kruger won it with his second goal of the playoffs. The winner of this series will face the winner of the Tampa Bay/New York Rangers series in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Will fatigue be a factor? Doubtful, though on paper it makes sense. The problem is that it’ll impact both teams meaning that it’s a non-factor. Some are suggesting that the ‘X factor’ in this series is the lack of depth in the Blackhawks’ blueline corps. While the team would no doubt like a couple more defensemen to take some of the workload off of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook it’s not as big of an issue as it’s being made out to be by the media. That’s the deal with the playoffs–the best players log the most minutes.

A bigger concern from our view is the statistical deficiency of the Anaheim Ducks. Sure, they’re big and physical but they don’t have a great statistical profile. Their best statistical category during the regular season was goals per game where they were #11 in the league. Their #20 goals against per game is not the least bit impressive and particularly compared with the Blackhawks #2 goals against per game ranking. The Ducks deserve credit for winning games but they’re far from an unbeatable team.

So are we saying that the Ducks are overrated? Yep. They became the ‘flavor of the month’ earlier in the playoffs as they ran roughshod over limited opponents Calgary and Winnipeg. Now they’re facing a deep, talented and playoff experienced Blackhawks team that also has one of the best coaches in the NHL in Joel Quinneville. Look for the Hawks’ star players to have more room to work with ‘Q’ getting the last line change as the home team. Hawks win this game and go up 2-1.


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