Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks - 12/27/14 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Blackhawks (23-10-2) at Colorado Avalanche (13-13-8)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Pepsi Center)
The Line: Colorado Avalanche +135 / Chicago Blackhawks -160 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Avs look to lock up their fourth straight win and move above the .500 mark when they host the Blackhawks in Denver on Saturday night.
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The Chicago Blackhawks continue to prove day in and day out why they are a league power house and why they are Cup contenders every season and this year is no different as they lead the Central division with 48 points. The Hawks are as deep as they come and with the majority of their core having at least one Cup title under their belt and many more with a second this team knows how to win and have the playoff experience that very few teams possess. Chicago will look to shake off a loss in their last game before the Christmas break and get back in the win column for their eighth time in their last 10 contests and distance themselves from a hard charging pack in the division that includes Nashville and St. Louis. The Hawks will turn to Corey Crawford as he eases his way back into action after a lengthy absence and he will take on Calvin Pickard who continues to log starter's minutes with Semyon Varlamov back on the shelf.
The Avs are one of the most polarizing teams in the league as they have vastly underachieved this season by most people's standards but were the talk of the league last year by racing to a division title just a year removed from landing the first overall pick. It is tough to try and not get caught up in all of that hoopla but the fact remains that they weren't a division winning quality roster last year but aren't a division basement dweller either. Colorado does have solid coaching in the form of Patrick Roy and have a nice core of young players that as they progress will continue to improve and take over this league but I think they are missing Paul Stastny in a big way as he was a great top two centreman and is playing quite well for his new team in St. Louis. This is tough as I like how the Avs have played over the last few games but now return to the ice against a well rested Hawks team and I think ultimately they will be too much in what I think will be a pretty competitive 3-2 style of hockey game.