The 4-6-3 Chicago Blackhawks continue their west coast trip with a game tonight against the Sharks. After winning Sunday night 3-2 in overtime, here’s what to expect from the Blackhawks tonight.
The Chicago Blackhawks are riding high off of a 3-2 win against the Ducks. They’ve struggled big-time this season and have only won back-to-back games once this season. That just isn’t a winning formula.
With young stars like Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist now in the everyday lineup, the future is now. The team is starting to get a glimpse of what the new core group could look like. Last Sunday, Boqvist scored his first NHL goal in a 3-2 overtime win. The morning skate had him partnered with Duncan Keith again on defense.
Robin Lehner will get the start for the Blackhawks, which is a huge advantage for the team. Lehner has outplayed Corey Crawford by a mile this season and it seems like Crawford has lost a step during the last few seasons, age isn’t on his side. Expect to continue seeing Lehner in net over Crawford as the season continues to unfold.
The lines tonight look good and unchanged from Sunday’s game. The very hot Patrick Kane, who scored the game-winning-goal Sunday is back on the second line with Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat. That line has three hungry players who can all get on the score sheet at will.
DeBrincat and Kane being pure goal-scorers who can score anywhere on the ice with Kane leading the team in points with 12.
With Boqvist playing in his third game of the season, I expect him to have his best game. He is progressing game-by-game and has shown in the past to be a quick learner. I expect nothing but that out of him throughout the season. Boqvist and Keith on the first line will help Boqvist grow into the defenseman he needs to be.
The Blackhawks are 28th on goals-for and 14th on goals-against. Their power play is ranked 28th in the league. The team has struggled in a lot of key-areas early on this season, facing a struggling Sharks’ team could be the turning point this season.
For the Sharks, they sit in last place. Their star defenseman Brent Burns has carried the score sheet with three goals and 11 assists during his 15 games played. Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl sit behind him with 12 points.
They’ve struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. Starting goalie Martin Jones has given up an average of 3.52 goals per game. Jones saves just 88.7% of shots on goal. This gives players like Patrick Kane an advantage when he plays a struggling team like the Sharks.
The Sharks are 27th on goals-for and are 28th on goals-against. The big advantage they will have is their 12th ranked power play. The Blackhawks have struggled on the penalty kill all season. That could be a huge factor tonight.
My pick for tonight is a hot game for the Blackhawks. If they can stay out of the penalty box, there is no reason why they can’t win this game and should be able to knock off the Sharks. If the Blackhawks want to make a push for the playoffs, it continues tonight. It’s very early in the season still but they have missed some key opportunities to get ahead.
This game against the Sharks is a rematch from last month’s one-goal loss. The Sharks are favored to win by 1.5 goals, (-154, CBS Sports). The over-under for tonight’s game is 6.5 goals. If you’re betting tonight, bet the over because I have a feeling the Blackhawks are coming out hot.