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Chicago vs. Vancouver,
02/01/2018 22:00 EDT,
Score: 2 - 4
Total: +104/+5½ Over
8* Over Blackhawks/Canucks (10:05 ET): As recently as a month ago, if I would have told you that one of these two teams would be in last place on Feb 1st, the virtually unanimous choice would have likely been the Canucks. Sure, they play in the same division as Arizona, but there's certainly no way that mighty Chicago could ever find itself in the division cellar, right? Wrong. They come into today last in the Central. Now that's a bit of a misleading distinction seeing as they have 55 pts, nine more than the Canucks. Furthermore, the Central is as tough as any division in recent memory. Every teams besides the Blackhawks has a winning record.
As "easy" as it might seem to call for a Blackhawks' victory here, season-long inconsistencies give me pause. They have won B2B road games, beating Detroit and Nashville, but that was around the All-Star Break w/ plenty of time off in between. The 'Hawks did lose their only prior visit to B.C. earlier this season. I do think they'll be able to score plenty in this matchup though. Vancouver gives up 3.4 goals per game here at home and it's not as if goaltender Jacob Markstrom is involved in any kind of Vezina discussion. Overall, the Canucks rank 25th in goals allowed.
The last three Vancouver games have all seen either them or the opponent score four goals. Last time out, it was a 4-3 win over Colorado, in overtime. That was after being shutout by Buffalo, 4-0, last Thursday. The game before that was a 6-2 win over the Kings. All three took place here at home. Chicago's goaltending remains in flux as Corey Crawford is still out. Jeff Glass and Anton Forsberg continue to split time. Forsberg has played the better of the two of late, but he also stunk against Vancouver in the last visit, giving up five goals on 31 shots. 8* Over Blackhawks/Canucks