The reality is grim.
The future, though, is exciting.
And what is going to take place on Thursday night in Chicago is a glimpse of what may be to come, a taste of what the NHL’s tomorrow could look like:
The Anaheim Ducks versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
Both organizations are in the embryonic stages of rebuilds and possess young talent in the persons of Connor Bedard and Trevor Zegras and Leo Carlsson and Kevin Korchinski.
The game could portend Western Conference Final matchups in the years to come. The question is how to view the game when making a hockey bet today.
Ducks vs Blackhawks Best Bets
Chicago is a -105 moneyline favorite in NHL odds.
Despite the presence of first overall pick Bedard and the recent trade acquisition of Anthony Beauvillier, the Blackhawks do not possess enough firepower to beat Guam in a war. Chicago’s 59 goals scored is second-fewest in the NHL, ahead of only Washington and San Jose, who have scored 52 times apiece. Individually, the Blackhawks do not have a player among the league’s top 50 scorers, with Bedard checking in at 67th in the NHL with 20 points.
Certainly, the losses of veteran scorers Taylor Hall (season-ending right ACL surgery) and Corey Perry (contract termination due to what the team called unacceptable conduct) were both unforeseen and unfortunate, but neither was producing at levels that made anyone remember their glory days. Perry had a slashline of four goals and five assists for nine points in 16 games while Hall had four points (two goals and two assists) in 10 games.
No, it hasn’t been great in Chicago and NHL betting lines reflect that.
Nor has it been especially exceptional for Orange County, California’s National Hockey League squad.
Entering Thursday night’s game, Anaheim’s 69 goals is tied with the New York Islanders for 30th in the league. Unlike Chicago, who does not yet possess the depth and caliber of scorers to compete with the NHL’s best, the Ducks have not gotten the kind of production from their young stars and veteran offensive producers. Frank Vatrano leads Anaheim with 14 goals and 23 points.
Simply, that is a problem for the Ducks when making NHL picks and predictions.
So, too, is a defense which ranks 26th in the NHL with 87 goals allowed and whose 3.48 goals allowed per game average is tied for 29th with Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal and Tampa Bay. Which isn’t great. But it is slightly better than Chicago’s 3.67 goals allowed per game average, which is 30th in the league.
Take Anaheim as a slight favorite in the Las Vegas NHL odds.
Ducks vs Blackhawks Betting Lines
Ducks vs Blackhawks Game Information
- Game: Ducks (10-15-0) vs Blackhawks (7-16-1).
- Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
- Day/Time: Thursday, Dec. 7, 8:30 P.M. ET
- Ducks vs Blackhawks Live Stream: NHL.com
Questions Of The Day
Which team's defense is more likely to shut down the opposing offense?
Neither team will remind anyone of the Dynasty Oilers of the 1980s offensively or the Martin Brodeur Devils defensively. Chicago has allowed two more goals this season than Anaheim (89-87), while the Ducks have scored 10 more goals than the Blackhawks (69-59). Take Anaheim, cautiously.
Will Ducks forward Troy Terry score over 2.5 points and assists against the Blackhawks?
Terry has 14 points (five goals and nine assists) in 25 games, an average of 0.56 points per game. So, no, it does not seem especially likely that he’s due for a breakout performance.