There’s a weird line in the December 9th NHL free pick as the Blackhawks are listed at -115 favorites over Montreal. Chicago has fallen into dead last in the Western Conference and have the fewest points in the league with just 23. Montreal has won 3 of their last 4 and plays tonight on 2 days rest. Does this game have trap written all over it in what seems like an easy Canadiens win?
Does Montreal Roll On the Road?
The Canadiens have climbed up into the 1st wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and have a very winnable game in the December 9th NHL free pick. The Canadiens outscored Ottawa 10-4 in a back-to-back and now have gone for 5+ goals in three of their last 4 games. The Blackhawks have the worst defense in the Western Conference and have dropped six straight games while giving up 30 goals over that span. All four lines scored a goal for coach Claude Julien on Thursday which means Montreal can keep pounding and pounding a fatigued Chicago team that has played 7 of their last 9 on the road. The Canadiens are 4th in the NHL in SOG which doesn’t bode well for the ‘Hawks defense.
For as bad as Chicago’s record is this year, they still have a very talented offense…at least on paper. The job of stopping that attack falls on Carey Price who is making his 7th straight start. Price has won three of the last four while limiting opponents to 2 goals or less in all but one game. The O/U tonight opened at 7.5 (since down to 6) so oddsmakers are expecting goals. Will it be against Price – or from Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin vs. the Chicago defense?
Things are Getting Real Bad in Chicago
Coming into the December 9th NHL free pick the Blackhawks have lost six straight games. Yes they’re back home after a long road stretch but with the Bears taking on the Rams this evening expect excitement to be limited from the home crowd – especially with the Hawks being the worst team in the league points-wise. Chicago is dead last in the league in power play as well and ranks 26th in goals despite having talent like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Alex Debrincat on the ice. Chicago has scored just 2 goals or less in 5 of the last 9 outings.
What’s really unfortunate for ‘Hawks backers tonight is that not only is their offense struggling, but their defense is even worse. Chicago is 30th in goals against and has allowed 4+ in 8 of the last 9 games. Corey Crawford is having a horrible year and has lost 7 straight decisions. Crawford has posted a .900 save percentage or greater in just two of those contests so he’s not dropping 2-1 contests. Montreal is 12th in goals scored and should be able to get a bunch tonight.
December 9th NHL Free Pick Betting
There’s always a chance that Crawford finds his groove in net tonight but that’s a big reach. Both teams have 2 days rest but it’s really hard to see what Chicago’s motivation is moving forward the rest of the season, knowing that an implosion is almost guaranteed to be coming. The Blackhawks being favored is likely a trap – but not as big of a sabotage as betting ON Chicago.
NHL Free Pick: Montreal Canadiens -105