NHL Preview – Chicago Blackhawks @ Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Preview – Chicago Blackhawks @ Philadelphia Flyers

1am) Chicago Blackhawks @ Philadelphia Flyers

The second game of the thin Wednesday schedule sees an inter conference battle. The most eastern Western Conference team, the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Chicago Blackhawks, make the short journey from Illinois over to Pennsylvania. They seek a consecutive return to the cup and an early win against the Broad Street Bullies, the Philadelphia Flyers.

We believe the Blackhawks will beat the Flyers in regulation time, which is currently 23/20. You can Treble the Odds on that bet for a potential £64.50 return off a £10 bet. Click here or the banner below to sign up. 

Off the back of a first round elimination to the eventual Stanley Cup runner-ups the New York Rangers in 2014, the Philadelphia Flyers disappointingly failed to return to the playoffs in 2015, highlighting a season of lack of offensive depth and a terrible blue line. What positives that can be taken heading into this season is the fantastic stats goaltender Steve Mason put up with the lack of support he had in front of him, the wealth of young talent ready to be called upon and the magical moves of General Manager Ron Hextall which really saw the Flyers come out on the winning side. Whilst this side is still developing, they will be a fun team to watch for plenty of seasons ahead. The Flyers currently sit third in the Metropolitan division. The only injury woe is RJ Umberger who is out with an upper body injury sustained in the first game against Florida Panthers. The Flyers will also be without starting tendie Steve Mason who is busy with family problems, paving the way for new backup tendy, Michal Neuvirth, to get the start. He has a perfect 0.00 GAA and 1.000 SV% after shutting out the Panthers in his first start of the season. Flyers performed well against Central teams last season, earning 8 wins from 14, splitting a two game series with the Blackhawks.

Another year, another Stanley Cup victory for the Blackhawks, their third in five years, really cementing themselves as one of the best legacy teams ever. They’ve had a rather quiet offseason highlighted by the loss of Brandon Saad and the rape allegations made against star forward, Patrick Kane, which have since been disproved, this team is keen to get back in the mix. A decent start to the season sees them sitting fourth in the Central division. The Blackhawks go into this fixture with a fully healthy roster. It’s likely Corey Crawford gets the start between the posts tonight after posting a 2.50 GAA and .921 SV% in his first two starts however Scott Darling could be called upon after a solid first outing, posting 1.01 GAA and .966 SV%. Blackhawks won 9 times in 16 contests against Metropolitan opposition last season.

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This Chicago Blackhawks team make playing hockey on ice look effortless. They will  certainly benefit this season from having retained more or less the base of their Stanley Cup winning team from last season. That being said, this Philadelphia outfit are live dogs and when they play their physical style of hockey which seemingly imposes other teams, they often come out on top. The problem is this is a developing team who will often face new challenges this season and playing the Blackhawks will be the height of challenges this season. For that reason, it’s hard not to side with the Blackhawks. I think Blackhawks win in a close tilt in Philadelphia.

Dan Glozier.

Categories: NHL, NHL Tips, Preview

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