Minnesota Wild Vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Market WatchThe most interesting price in round 2 can be found in this series. The Blackhawks are listed at -127, which is a 56% win probability. This is right in line with a team holding home ice advantage. I have to hand it to the sportsbooks on this one because I think this is not only a fair line, but a true line. It just comes down to which side of the coin you think it will land.
Bottom LineIn round 1 I not only picked the Blues to top the Wild, but I had them to reach the finals. I also wrote that it was a monumental test, and Minnesota proved to be just that. This team is legit now that they found goaltending, so they could very well top the Blackhawks and I wouldn't consider it an "upset".
Should Chicago be here? Yeah, I think they earned it, but I lost track of how many times I rolled my eyes at clueless media members who said the Predators had no chance to win after Weber went down. They were one shot or lucky bounce away in 3 different games from forcing a game 7 back in their barn. It didn't work out for Nashville, but they were Chicago's equal right to the end.
Both of these teams were above 52% in score-adjusted Fenwick during the season, equally good at home and on the road, and above average in both special teams categories.
In goal, the Hawks suddenly have unexpected question marks to deal with. Crawford was among the best during the season, but flopped hard in round 1. This, despite having a cup under his belt. If he can regain his form, I like Chicago to come out on top here. If not, Minnesota will be advancing to round 3. I'm gonna roll with the former, even though I don't feel overly confident about it.
Pick: Blackhawks (-127) (2u)