Both teams sit near the bottom of the respective conferences. Carolina has compiled just 14 points through 15 games this season, putting them in second-last place in the Metropolitan Division standings. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks haven’t been much better, racking up 15 points through 15 games, which culminated in the firing of longtime head coach Joel Quenneville.
Hurricanes struggling to light the lamp during losing skid
The Hurricanes are fresh off of their fifth straight loss after falling 4-1 on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Jaccob Slavin scored his first goal of the season to help Carolina avoid a shutout for the second straight game, while goaltender Curtis McElhinney stopped 16 of the 19 shots that he faced on the evening in a losing effort.
Carolina has been outscored 16-7 during their current five-game losing streak, while going 0-4-1 during that stretch. After a promising start to the year that saw Carolina win four of its first five games, the Hurricanes suddenly find themselves near the bottom of the Metropolitan standings as the NHL season rears its head into the second week of November.
— ABC11Charlie Mickens (@GameDayCharlie) October 31, 2018
Scott Darling is expected to get the start in goal for the Hurricanes on Thursday night. The 29-year-old is 0-2-0 with a 3.14 GAA and a .893 save percentage in two starts this season. The Canes scooped McElhinney off of waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs at the beginning of the season with Darling out to start the year, but make no mistake about it: this is Darling’s starting job to lose. After a successful stint in Chicago, Darling has gone 13-21-7 in 42 starts for the Hurricanes. He will be up against his former team on Thursday after sporting a 1-0-1 record and a 2.99 GAA in two starts versus the Blackhawks last year.
Carolina comes into this game scoring just 2.6 goals per game, which ranks 26th in the NHL. They have also left plenty to be desired on special teams, where they rank 28th in power play percentage (12.5 percent) and 29th in penalty kill percentage (69.8 percent).
Blackhawks fire Quenneville, replace him with 33-year-old coach
Chicago lost its fifth consecutive game on Tuesday falling on the road against the Calgary Flames by the score of 5-3. Jonathan Toews scores his eighth goal of the year on the power play, while Jan Rutta and Brandon Saad added goals to give Chicago a 3-1 on the night, but Calgary proceeded to tack on four unanswered goals to pull out the win.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 7, 2018
The Blackhawks took some extreme measures following their slow start to the season, firing three-time Stanley Cup winning head coach Joel Quenneville. After years of heartache, Quenneville led the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups titles and nine playoff appearances and will be replaced by Jeremy Colliton — the head coach of the team’s AHL affiliate in Rockford, Illinois. That means Quenneville, the NHL’s longest-tenured head coach, was replaced by the league’s youngest head coach in Colliton, who is just 33 years old. Colliton could find it challenging to command a locker room that features several veteran players, including Duncan Keith, Chris Kunitz, Corey Crawford and Cam Ward, who are all over the age of 33.
- Blackhawks are 74-34 in their last 108 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Blackhawks are 15-7 in their last 22 vs. Metropolitan.
- Hurricanes are 7-21 in their last 28 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Hurricanes are 1-5 in their last 6 road games
- Hurricanes are 0-5 in their last 5 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like to buy on bad news and it seems like a good price for the Blackhawks up against a team that has struggled on the road at the United Center in recent years. Carolina is just 2-5 in their last five trips to Chicago and the Blackhawks are fresh off of scoring three goals or more for the first time in their last four games. After a three-game road trip that featured three games in four days, Chicago is playing on four days of rest and they are actually 2-0-1 in their last three home games. Take Chicago at home in this battle between two of the NHL’s bottom-feeders on Thursday night.
Prediction: Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -115
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have gone over the projected total just one time in their last seven meetings and they’ve stayed under the total in four of their last five meetings in Chicago. Neither of these teams have played well this year. Chicago has a -10 goal differential through 15 games, while the Hurricanes own a -5 mark so far this year. These teams rank 26th and 27th in the NHL, respectively, in goals per game, so I’m leaning towards the under in this matchup at the United Center on Thursday night.
Prediction: Over 6