Preview: Coyotes vs Blackhawks
Date: Thursday, November 14th 2013 @ 8:00 pm est
Phoenix Coyotes vs Chicago Blackhawks Prediction
This is the first meeting of the season between the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks won 2 of 3 games against the Yotes last season.
The Coyotes beat the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week and they didn’t just win 3-2. They controlled the game and goalie Mike Smith stole the show, as he always does.
Another underestimated part of this Coyotes team is their defense scoring goals. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the game-winner to give the Coyotes their seventh win in eight games.
Over the past two weeks the Coyotes have wins against several Western Conference heavyweights, including the Blues, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.
The Blackhawks have won six of their past seven games and haven’t lost in regulation since a 5-3 defeat to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 26. Chicago is tied with Colorado atop the division, and while the Avalanche have a game in hand, the Blackhawks have one fewer regulation loss.
Chicago had three days off and should be well rested tonight when they face the Coyotes.
Who’s hot: Smith has won six of his past seven starts and is 11-3-2 despite facing 555 shots, the highest figure in the League.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp has a goal and six assists in his past three games.
Injury report: Phoenix forwards Martin Hanzal (illness) and Radim Vrbata (lower body) missed the win Tuesday and are questionable for Thursday. Defenseman Derek Morris (lower body) is on injured reserve, but could be activated in time to play.
Chicago center Brad Mills (lower body) has missed two games and is questionable. Center Michal Handzus (hand) remains out. Defenseman Michael Kostka (lower body) is on IR and unlikely to return until December.
Phoenix Coyotes – Mike Smith (confirmed)
Chicago Blackhawks – Corey Crawford (confirmed)
This is a small NHL pick that will be documented on our overall NHL record.
As much as I like the Coyotes I feel a bit hesitant to back them tonight. And it’s only because of injuries. If they were a 100% healthy team I would be releasing this pick as a top rated NHL pick of the day. They aren’t healthy so I am keeping it small.
Although injuries have not stopped them from beating the Blues, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. And it shouldn’t stop them tonight. The Coyotes are hungry this season and like the rest of the league they want to prove themselves against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Phoenix Coyotes +165 to win $165
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