Chicago Blackhawks (32-8-11) at Detroit Red Wings (21-18-10)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 22, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Detroit Red Wings +134 / Chicago Blackhawks -147 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Blackhawks head into Detroit on Wednesday looking to escape with two points at the expense of their Original Six and former Central division rivals in the Red Wings.
The Blackhawks continue to be the class of the Western Conference’s Central division and are still very much in the running for the President’s Trophy as they trail the Ducks by four points for the game’s top mark. Chicago is the defending Stanley Cup champion and they are very much a threat to repeat this year as they have the pieces to go on another deep playoff run and not too many other teams match up with them line for line. The Hawks head into the Joe having won back to back games and while they only have a single regulation loss in their last 10 contests they have dropped four of those in either overtime or the shootout. Corey Crawford gets the call in the Chicago crease as he goes up against Jonas Gustavsson who will take over for Jimmy Howard in the Detroit crease.
The Red Wings have been up and down all season and for a team that was projected to be at or near the top of the Eastern Conference standings I think it is safe to say that the Wings have been a disappointment so far. Detroit heads into tonight’s game sitting in the Atlantic division and trail the Bruins by 13 points for top spot and sit on the cusp of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Wings have battled injuries all season long and are now without Pavel Datsyuk who has been placed on the IR with no target return date scheduled which is a huge blow to Detroit’s playoff bid and if they can’t find anyone to pick up the slack and fast the Wings’ illustrious playoff streak could finally come to an end. Gustavsson will look to give the Hawks fits tonight but that is much easier said than done as Chicago is very deep up front and will exploit your weaknesses if they are exposed. I think the Hawks find their opportunities and finish Detroit off here without much difficulty.