The red flag 🚩 has been raised ahead of Tuesday night’s April 6th Stars at Blackhawks matchup. For some reason, Dallas has gotten the -120 favorite tag despite being on the road (6-7-3) and without coach Rick Bowness after a positive COVID test despite being vaccinated.
Do oddsmakers like Dallas here, or is the CHI +100 line just an indictment of how poorly the Blackhawks are playing as of late? Chicago has dropped four of their last five, but to be fair three of those defeats were against a red hot Nashville team that is 8-2 over their last 10.
Return of Khudobin For Dallas
The Stars had to turn to rookie Jake Oettinger in net over the weekend in Carolina after Anton Khudobin was also forced to go into virus protocols. It was a great learning experience for the youngster, and he was solid in stopping 41 of 43 SOG on Saturday and then turning around and stopping 37 of 38 on Saturday. That was against 3rd place Carolina too, even though the Stars could only salvage a split of the two game set.
Khudobin is set to return in the April 6th Stars at Blackhawks game however. It’s been an up and down stretch for the veteran lately though, allowing 3+ goals in four of the last seven, but just three total goals in the other three. Khudobin hasn’t played since last Thursday.
Overall though, things go back to how Dallas is favored (albeit slightly) after going 3-6 in their last 9 games? Much like Chicago, the Stars have played solid competition lately which should be taken into consideration (TB, Florida, Nashville, and Carolina are the top 4 teams in Central). Overall this is just a ho-hum team though.
Chicago Has Travel Advantage
One thing going for the Blackhawks is that they will be playing their 7th home game in the last 8 overall when they host Dallas on Tuesday night. That seems like a huge advantage vs. a Dallas team playing their 5th straight road game. Take into consideration the extra off night from Chicago last playing on Saturday night and Jeremy Colliton’s team really has some value here.
There are some definite concerns with the Chicago offense coming into the game with the Stars however. Not only were the Hawks shut out on Saturday vs. Nashville, they couldn’t get a single one of their 41 shots to find the back of the net. The Hawks’ biggest hope is that Khudobin is rusty after the 5-day layoff.
Another concerning thing about the 3-0 loss to the Preds as +102 underdogs on Saturday was that Kevin Lankinen gave up those scores despite facing just 21 shots. Lankinen is very hit or miss as well, giving up 3+ in three of the last five, but also posting a 41 save shutout vs. the Panthers and stopping 31 of 32 shots vs. the Hurricanes over that span.
Free April 6th Stars at Blackhawks Pick
58% of the public like Chicago as home ‘dogs in this one, and the Blackhawks do have the value. That being said, there must be a reason why Dallas is favored. Khudobin is back (even though Oettinger played well), and the Stars offense has been the more reliable of the two over the past 10 days. They’ll be wanting to win a big one in Bowness’ absence as well.
Dallas 4 – Blackhawks 3
Free Pick: Dallas -120