You have to go all the way back to 1998 to find the last time a team repeated as champion in the NHL. Certainly, the addition of a salary cap has made it harder for a single team to dominate and create a dynasty, but you also have to take into account the sheer physicality of the regular season and the playoffs combined. Few teams escape that gauntlet unscathed, with injuries and exhaustion almost always playing some role. With all of that in mind, it was always going to be tough for the Chicago Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup in back to back years, but it has become even tougher now, as they find themselves 3-1 down in their 7-game first round series against the St. Louis Blues. Every game now is an elimination game, and it all begins on Thursday night, when the Blues have a chance to eliminate the champions on home ice. This should be a pretty tense affair, and you can wager on it at our MyBookie.ag pro hockey betting odds page.
How To Bet The Blackhawks Vs Blues NHL Playoff Odds, TV & Game Info
Why bet on the Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks really have to be wondering why they are in this position, as every game in this series really could have gone either way. All 4 games so far have been decided by a single goal, which should tell you just how evenly matched these two teams are. Despite being right behind the 8-ball, the Blackhawks have to look at the closeness of those previous games and realize that they are still in this thing. In order for that to happen, though, the Blackhawks need to find a way to shut down a Blues power play unit that has scored 4 goals in the last 2 games. Stay out of the penalty box, and Chicago may well be able to play themselves right back into this series.
Why bet on the St. Louis Blues
After seeing the first 2 games of the series end in a split, the Blues knew they had to go into Chicago and try to steal back home ice advantage. They went one better than that, and actually came away with a pair of road wins. The danger for St. Louis is that they will come into this game a little too relaxed now that they have the Blackhawks by the throat. It is important that they keep their foot on the gas, and you better believe that the building will be rocking on Thursday night, with the Blues fans sure to be smelling blood. Knocking out the defending champions in the opening round may be the catalyst required to light a confident spark under this Blues squad.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Champions rarely go down without putting up some sort of fight, and I don’t believe that the Chicago Blackhawks are about to change that. I saw this series going 7 games, and still believe it might.
Chicago Blackhawks 4 St. Louis Blues 3