Phoenix Coyotes (13-4-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (12-2-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday November 14, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -186 / Phoenix Coyotes +169 --- Over/Under: 6
The Phoenix Coyotes head into the Windy City looking for an upset victory while the Blackhawks look to keep their home winning ways intact as they stand at 7-1-3 in Chicago.
The Coyotes have been one of the more pleasant surprises to start the NHL season as they have roared through the first portion of the season and stand in second place in the Pacific division behind the Ducks. Phoenix has an impressive 13-4-2 so far this season and are coming off an impressive win in St. Louis and yet they continue to get shelled by the odds makers. Mike Smith continues to shine in the Phoenix crease as he has done over the past few seasons and if he can get the Coyotes back in the playoffs they should have a very good chance to pull off a couple of series wins. Phoenix ousted the Blackhawks from the playoffs two seasons ago but Chicago got their revenge last year by winning the Stanley Cup. While one game won’t dictate a season a win here by either team will go a long way in building confidence.
The Blackhawks have once again cruised through the opening stanza of their regular season as they sit with a 12-2-4 mark and have won three straight contests. Chicago is very deep at every position and is a serious threat to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions even without some of the key contributors from last year’s bunch. The Hawks host the Coyotes here in what should be a very exciting battle as Corey Crawford duels with Mike Smith in what is an audition of sorts for two net minders hoping to make the Canadian Olympic team. While the Blackhawks are the deeper team it makes no sense to me that Phoenix is this much of an underdog as the teams have the same amount of points and the Coyotes are coming off a huge win in St. Louis. It is very puzzling but I fully expect the Coyotes to show up and that is the only play in this one.