The Blackhawks had their 7 game win streak snapped in a 3-6 loss to Boston on Tuesday. That didn’t stop the team from getting right back in the W column last time out however as Chicago was a 5-2 winner over New Jersey on Thursday night. A streaky Columbus team visits the United Center in the February 16th NHL free pick and the Blue Jackets are actually -132 favorites. Is the home ‘dog the play tonight?
A Big 9 Days Upcoming for Columbus
Chicago has fought their way back into the playoff hunt but Columbus suddenly finds themselves in a do-or-die situation moving forward. That’s because the NHL trade deadline is looming in 9 days and the Blue Jackets need to decide what to do with UFA Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Columbus would be wise to keep their team in tact considering they sit in the 7th seed in the East. A win over a rising Chicago team would confirm those plans although the Blue Jackets have already dropped a 1-4 contest to the Hawks back in October.
Bobrovsky will be in net in the February 16th NHL free pick for Columbus. He has won four of his last five including a SO over Washington on Tuesday. What the Blue Jackets defense does a great job of limiting opponents SOG as Bobrovsky hasn’t faced more than 31 shots in the last six games. Chicago has climbed into a top 10 goal scoring team in the league however.
Chicago Turns To Their Offense to Keep Rolling
Patrick Kane has been the spark plug behind the Blackhawks going 8-1 over their last 9. Kane has a 16 game point streak going, amassing an amazing 35 points over that span. With a point in the February 16th NHL free pick, Kane can tie Florida’s Mike Hoffman for the longest run this season. Jonathan Toews, Alex Debrincat, and Dylan Strome have all also been making solid contributions as Chicago is averaging 4.89 goals per game over the last 9 games, well above the league average of 3.05. Columbus has allowed 3+ goals in 5 of 8 games since the Winter break.
Not only is Chicago clicking on offense, Cam Ward has found his way in net as well. The veteran has won five straight games and has held opponents to 2 goals or less in four of them. Columbus has a top 8 scoring offense, but they were shut out Thursday night vs. the Islanders.
February 16th NHL Free Pick Betting
The value is on Chicago tonight. With a win the Blackhawks will go to 9-1 over their last 10 games while Columbus is just 4-6 over that span. The Chicago offense is on an incredible roll right now and the UC should be rocking as the home ice team is just 3 points back from Minnesota for the 2nd wild card spot.
NHL Free Pick: Chicago Blackhawks +115