NHL Hockey Betting: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Hockey Betting:  St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Arguably the best of all of the first round series matchups goes to Game Four tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. After three very close games the Blues hold a 2-1 lead with Game Five set for Thursday in St. Louis. One thing that is very important heading into the postseason is form. Not in the way that mainstream sports media types blather on about ‘momentum’ but the knowledge that a team is playing up to their abilities. In that context, this matchup looks somewhat bleak for the Chicago Blackhawks who all of a sudden find themselves having lost four of their last five games dating back to the regular season. St. Louis, meanwhile, has won five of their last seven and eight of eleven. Most importantly after being held to 18 shots on net in Game One (which they still managed to win) they’re getting the puck on net very well with 31 shots in Game Two and 36 in Game Three. They’re still giving up too many shots to the Blackhawks–112 in three games–but they’re fortunate to have a goaltender in Brian Elliott that is playing some of the best hockey of his career.

Corey Crawford is manning the net for Chicago and is also playing well. The aggregate score after three games is St. Louis with a 6-5 lead so it’s not like either team is dominating the other. St. Louis just looks a little more resilient than in years past and don’t seem spooked by the prospect of another first round exit. They’re just playing good hockey and finding ways to win games. That being said, Chicago has been a very dangerous opponent when trailing in a playoff series–they’re 1-0 in that spot this year and an impressive 9-2 +7.3 units over the past three seasons. St. Louis is 0-1 this year when leading a playoff series and 1-3 over the past three years. Tough handicap since the numbers favor the Blues but the situation favors the Blackhawks. We’ll ultimately go with the value on St. Louis. This has been a series that has been virtually played to a standstill and getting one side of a ‘coin flip’ at plus money is the way to go.


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