The Blackhawks are still down overall (13th in Western Conference) but at the very least they’ve shown signs of life lately. Chicago is 6-3-1 in their last 10 which includes a 5-3 win in Pittsburgh and two hard fought one goal losses to top tier teams Calgary and the Islanders. Another elite squad comes to the United Center for the January 9th NHL free pick as Nashville visits as -190 favorites. The Preds have had some trouble in the Windy City – time for the Hawks to strike?
Up and Down Predators Try to Stay Up
Nashville is in by no means a panic situation despite the fact that they’ve fell to 5th place in the West. The Predators seem to have bounced back from a six game losing streak as they’ve put together wins in 4 of the last 5. The Predators have found their offense along the way putting up 21 goals in the five games. PK Subban, Mattias Ekholm, and Calle Jarnkrok are all riding three game point streaks. All that being said, there are some reasons to be skeptical about Nashville in the January 9th NHL free pick.
One of the biggest disadvantages Nashville faces ahead Wednesday is that they’re playing their 5th road game since New Year’s Eve. The Predators have already slipped up on the road in their latest run, dropping a 3-4 OT decision to Detroit as -174 favorites. Nashville is also 4-11 their last 15 in Chicago. G Pekka Rinne will try to improve on that trend although he is 2-5-1 over his last 8.
— Nashville Predators Game Bot (@PredsGameBot) January 9, 2019
Chicago Has the Offense to Get To Nashville?
Pekka Rinne has gone 1-1 vs. the Blackhawks this season, losing 1-2 in Chicago on 12/18 and winning 5-2 back home on 12/1. Chicago has seemingly found their offense lately with 3+ goals in 5 of 7. The Blackhawks are just 3-8 in their last 11 home games but they have a chance in the January 9th NHL free pick if Patrick Kane can stay hot with 12 points the last six games (7 goals). Jonathan Toews also has 8 points in 8 games and Alex Debrincat has goals in 6 of 10. That’s a potent offense for an iffy goaltender.
Chicago should have a fresh defense ahead of G Collin Delia as they’ve had a night off and played their last game at home. Nashville on the other hand has been to Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, and now Chicago as they play their 4th road game in 6 nights. The Predators are just 3-11 in their last 14 road games which gives Delia a solid chance to break his two game winless streak (0-1-1). It’s not like the young goaltender is playing bad however, stopping 84 shots total the last two games.
January 9th NHL Free Pick Betting
There’s just not much value on Nashville with the -190 line and the way they’ve played at the United Center coupled with the recent travel schedule. Chicago plays well in front of Delia and their offense should be able to net a couple vs. Rinne.
NHL Free Pick: Chicago Blackhawks +160