The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks opened up the season with a hockey game in Russia, and now they are set to meet up back in the United States. The Blackhawks will be the home team in this game, and they will be looking for some revenge against the Flyers. Neither one of these teams are Stanley Cup contenders at this point in the season, but both still have plenty of talented pieces on their roster.
The Blackhawks have gone just 2-2-2 on their current homestand that will wrap up in this game against the Flyers. The Blackhawks have picked up six points on the season, which puts them in last place in the Central Division. Philadelphia had lost four straight games before picking up a win earlier this week. The Flyers have just seven points on the season and are buried in the standings in the Metropolitan Division. The Chicago Blackhawks are -117 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at the United Center.
Blackhawks Need More Balance on Offense
The Blackhawks didn’t have any issues scoring the puck a season ago, but that hasn’t carried over to this season. One of the biggest issues is that they just haven’t been getting contributions from their entire roster. Patrick Kane has been his usual self, leading the team with three goals and five assists, but he simply can’t do it alone. Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat are both off to slow starts, and it is really holding the Blackhawks back at this point of the season. Chicago is averaging less than three goals per game, and that number won’t get the job done, especially with its below-average defense.
Speaking of defense, the Blackhawks have actually been a little better this season than they were a year ago, but they still have several issues to correct on that side of the ice. The Blackhawks have yet to give up more than five goals in a game, which is a huge improvement from last season. Goaltender Robin Lehner has been a big reason for that, as he has posted a stellar 1.93 goals-against average in his three starts this season.
Flyers Dominating On Special Teams
The Philadelphia Flyers might not have a great record this season, but they are one of the best teams in the NHL on special teams. The Flyers on converting on 28 percent of their power-play opportunities this season and have killed off an impressive 75 percent of their own penalties. Philadelphia has played a pair of goaltenders so far this season, and they have combined to stop close to 90 percent of shot attempts.
Philadelphia is hoping to improve on its offense as the season goes along and score more than three goals per game. Center Travis Konecny leads the team in nearly every offensive category, including four goals and six assists. The Flyers did score five goals in their first win over the Blackhawks and poured in six goals in their most recent victory, so there is a chance that they could break out in this game.
Blackhawks Get Revenge On Flyers With Victory
Both of these teams have been a bit disappointing this season, but they have both shown flashes of playing great hockey. These two teams turned in a very exciting game in the season opener, and much of the same should be expected at the United Center on Thursday night. The Blackhawks simply must improve on their play at home, and they should get the job done in this game. Philadelphia will keep it close, but the Blackhawks are going to come away with a victory in this game. Bet the Chicago Blackhawks -117 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.