Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks (10/21 @ 8:30 PM EST)
Overview and Betting Odds
The Detroit Red Wings (2-0-1) will head to Chicago Friday night to face the Blackhawks (1-2). It’s a match of two original six teams, though both franchises have become shadows of what they once were. They will renew the second-oldest rivalry in the NHL, dating back to the first meeting in 1926.
The Red Wings enter the game 3-0 versus the puck line, having hit the over twice this season. The Blackhawks are 2-1 against the puck line and have hit the under twice. The two split the season series last year, with the road team winning in both instances.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season last year, resulting in a flurry of moves being made in the off-season. New coach Derek Lalonde has taken over and stressed improvement on the defensive end. The new mindset seems to have worked early, as the Red Wings only allowed six goals through their first three games.
After the disappointing end of the previous season, the Red Wings shook up their offense significantly. They brought in an entirely new line with the additions of Dominik Kubalik, Andrew Copp, and David Perron. They joined Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond to form an offense that registered twelve goals in their first three games. Perron leads the team with three goals but has support as nine other players have found the back of the net.
The defense returns after a disastrous season, despite the play of Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider. Detroit made this a focus in the offseason, adding Ben Chiarot and Olli Maata to support the star. The new blueliners have also made their presence felt on the offensive end, with both registering a goal and at least one assist.
Detroit will be going with newcomer Ville Husso between the pipes tonight. He started the season by shutting out Montreal (29 shots) but then gave up five goals to the Kings on Monday. The 27-year-old broke out last year with St. Louis in his second season in the NHL. The performance earned him a contract with Detroit and his first full season as a starter.
Chicago has fallen a long way over the last few seasons, with many expecting them to ship off their few stars to help rebuild. Many picked them as the league’s worst team this year, but they’re coming in from a 5-2 win at San Jose.
The Chicago offense still contains familiar names like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. However, they are without longtime winger Alex DeBrincat (now with Ottawa). It’s a big piece to be missing, and the Hawks are still adjusting. Their scoring has been led by Toews and Sam Lafferty, who account for four of the team’s seven goals on the season. Though Kane comes in after another great season, he’s registered just one point this year.
They have some talented blueliners in Seth Jones and the newly added Jack Johnson, who lead a hot defense that’s allowed just three goals in their last two games. Chicago’s defense will be their best chance to beat the Red Wings tonight, especially with a lack of talent in the net.
The Blackhawks will be going with Petr Mrazek in goal, who is half of one of the least intimidating goalie duos in the league. He was picked apart by the reigning champion Colorado Avalanche to open the year but bounced back with an impressive win against San Jose.
TakingVegas.com 1* Free Pick: Red Wings -1.5
There is some value in the Detroit money line, but +205 to take the Puck Line is the best chance to make money on this one. Chicago’s defense has been its saving grace this year, but their best performance came against a Las Vegas team that was still in flux. The Red Wing’s offense is firing on all cylinders and has the support of a vastly improved defense. No matter how you look at this matchup, all signs point to an easy win for Detroit.
We’re taking the Red Wings puck line and look forward to seeing the newest chapter of this historic rivalry.