Chicago Blackhawks (30-16-2) at San Jose Sharks (26-17-6)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 31, 2015, 10:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: San Jose Sharks -105 / Chicago Blackhawks -105 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Sharks and Blackhawks do battle in San Jose on Saturday night in a show down of two Western Conference heavy weights.
The Blackhawks have been as they come this season and over the last five as a matter of fact but last night they made a statement heard loudly league wide as they went into Anaheim and smashed the league leading Ducks by a 4-1 final. Chicago still sits four points back of the Predators for the division lead but without Pekka Rinne the Preds could start to slide and leave it as a battle between themselves and the St. Louis Blues and leave the Preds in the three seed and having to play on the road. Chicago is as deep as ever and have a solid roster from top to bottom but it was their stars once again shining brightly in big games as Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp light up the score board with the former netting two goals and the latter with four assists. The Hawks will likely go with Antii Raanta in this one but he has been brilliant in relief of Corey Crawford this season and gives Chicago a great chance to win every night of the week.
The Sharks meanwhile have quietly pieced together another impressive regular season and they too are coming off a win over the Anaheim Ducks as they claw their way through the Pacific division but are still 12 points back of the Ducks. San Jose is a team many were down on heading into this season after a melt down in the opening round of last year's playoffs and while the collapse was monumental and historic you have to credit the Kings more than you can fault the Sharks and going on to win the Stanley Cup certainly credits just how good and lucky the Kings got on last year's run. San Jose is a very solid group and should be treated as such and have former Blackhawks goalie Antii Niemi in goal and you can bet he still loves getting a win against his former team. In a pick em situation here it is tough arguing against either side as they're both very talented and while Chicago is coming off an impressive win I have to side with the home team here as I think they do enough to earn the two points.