Picks: Hawks Look to Shake Offensive Struggles

Updated: December 12, 2009 at 12:54 am by Brock Seguin

Chicago makes the rare trip to Buffalo tonight to face former Blackhawks goaltender Patrick Lalime.  Sound like a good matchup to you, too?  If only they averaged more than 1.6 goals per game over their last 3.

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Chicago Blackhawks -125 at Buffalo Sabres +105

Get on this quick if you like the Blackhawks because this line won’t last!  Patrick Lalime has been announced as the starter for Buffalo, meaning Chicago’s scoring arsenal will get to pick apart the Buffalo backup.  Lalime is 0-2 with a 4.54 GAA and recently spent time on a conditioning stint in the AHL (0-1-1 with a 2.91 GAA).
Pick: Hawks -125

Florida Panthers +175 at New Jersey Devils -210

Scott Clemmensen will get the nod against his former team but he’ll have to face the goalie he backed up up last season.  New Jersey peppered the Panthers for 41 shots in early October and it’s difficult picking against a team that has been so dominant at home, winning 8 of their last 9 home games.  Florida is a putrid 3-6-1 on the road in the East and also features the worst road powerplay, 7.1%.  Fortunately for bettors, the Devils have gone over (1 push) the game total of 5 for 5 straight games.
Pick: Devils -210 and Over 5.0 goals -150

Carolina Hurricanes +205 at Washington Capitals -245

I think it’s no question to expect the Caps to take this one, despite being without Semyon Varlamov.  The Capitals are getting healthier every day and Matt Bradley, Mike Knuble and Mathieu Perreault are all on the verge of returning tonight.  What really gets me about this game is the game total of 6.  Washington only potted 3 goals on Michael Leighton on Nov 30, albeit in the game where Alexander Ovechkin was thrown out.  The Caps have the best home offense, 3.9 goals per game, and an okay defense at 2.8 goals per game.  Carolina is just awful on the road, worst offense at 1.7 goals per game and third-worst defense at 3.8 goals per game.  Cam Ward appears like he’ll provide the Canes with most consistent goaltending after only allowing 3 goals in a loss to the Devils in his return.
Pick: Caps -245 and Under 6.0 goals -115

Dallas Stars +170 at San Jose Sharks -200

San Jose has lost 3 straight, all at home.  That’s 3 games as a -230, -160, -210 favourite – imagine you knew this was coming.  They have been out-dueled by opposing goaltenders such as Ty Conklin and Erik Ersberg over that stretch and puts them in a situation they don’t want to be in.  I expect the Sharks to make some radical changes tonight to try and end the skid but don’t expect the Stars to roll over.  San Jose has gone over in 8 of their last 11 games and are 5-2-4 at home vs. West teams on the year – Dallas has already upset San Jose at home on Nov 12.  Dallas has gone over in 7 of their last 10 and I like these teams to get into a shootout here tonight.  Dallas has the 6th-best road offense, 3.1 goals per game and the 21st-ranked defense, 3.2 goals against per game.  San Jose has the 8th-best home offense, 3.3 goals per game and the 12th-best home defense, 2.6 goals against per game.
Pick: Over 5.5 goals -105

Fan Favourite Record: 15-15, -3.23

Betting results by category so far this season:

  • Money Line 71-73, -13.33
  • Puck Line 15-20, +1.62
  • Game Totals 53-44-1, +2.20