The Chicago Blackhawks are in a bad way as they travel to face Colorado in the December 21sat NHL free pick. Well, technically the ‘Hawks have a two game win streak and are no longer the worst team in the league points-wise. That being said they face the Avalanche on leg two of a back-to-back and do so with a 3rd string goaltender making just his 3rd career start.
Chicago Turns to Third-Stringer in Goal
The Blackhawks travel to Colorado where the Avalanche are a solid 8-4-3 this season. If being on the road wasn’t bad enough for Chicago (5-12-2 away), they have to play in the December 21st NHL free pick a night after winning 5-2 in Dallas. Patrick Kane had two goals in that game and Alex Debrincat added a score and 2 assists. The ‘Hawks may need another solid offensive performance tonight with their question marks in net.
Those question marks in goal stem from starter Corey Crawford suffering another concussion and possibly having his playing future in jeopardy. Now the Blackhawks will have to rely on 34 year old Cam Ward. Not tonight however as 24 year old Collin Delia receives his 3rd career start and first of 2018. Interestingly enough, Delia has played in Colorado before, giving up 5 goals on 36 shots last March.
Avalanche Aim to Take Care of Business
Colorado is in a very winnable spot in the December 21st NHL free pick as Chicago is 7-20 in their last 27 on 0 days rest not to mention 0-6 their last six in a 4-games-in-6-nights spot. The Avalanche need a win too after dropping 4 of their last 6. Colorado should be fresh as they’ve played the last three games at home. Not only that, they’ve played just three games in 6 days.
Colorado sits in 4th in the Western Conference but should pad their points on Friday night. The Avalanche featuring Mikko Rantanen (58) and Nathan Mackinnon (55) are 1-2 in the league in scoring up against a tired ‘Hawks defense with an inexperienced goaltender.
December 21st NHL Free Pick Betting
Tonight’s line is incredibly high at Colorado -254. There is value in the puck line however as the Avalanche should handle this one pretty handily.
NHL Free Pick: Colorado -1.5 (-101)