Chicago Blackhawks (48-28-10) at St. Louis Blues (52-25-9)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 21, 2016, 9:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: St. Louis Blues -125 / Chicago Blackhawks +113 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Blackhawks face elimination in hostile territory on Thursday night as they head into St. Louis to battle the Blues who have a commanding 3-1 edge.
The Blackhawks are in very unfamiliar territory as the reigning Cup champs and perennial league power house has their backs against the wall in the opening round and could very well give way to their division rivals who have had their season end on a number of occasions by Chicago. The Hawks couldn’t find a way to win either game at the United Center and now have to head back to Scottrade and take down a Blues side that was lethal on home ice and push to live at least another day in this Central division playoff series. The Hawks will likely stick with the fiery Corey Crawford who was involved in some fireworks in the last game as he will look down the other way to Brian Elliott who has been excellent since assuming the starter’s role for St. Louis.
The Blues are a win away from step one of exorcising their playoff demons as they have had their Cup dreams shattered on a number of occasions in the first round but with the way they are playing at the moment they look like a group that could go on a serious run. St. Louis was considered a Cup contender in the preseason and if they can take down the champs they would demonstrate they are capable of being the league’s best and thanks to a 3-1 series edge they have three cracks at getting it done. While I am a fan of both of these teams I do have the Blues emerging out of this series but am not overly convinced it happens in this one as the Hawks are way too good to lose four out of five to the same team. However, the Blues have all the momentum and should ride the home crowd to a clinching victory and move onto the Cetral division final.