Blackhawks vs. Thrashers Preview

blackhawks vs thrashers nhl odds preview

Atlanta, GA - The Chicago Blackhawks didn't have much time to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup before the salary cap dictated an offseason of change, and they're still struggling to adjust to playing with a number of new faces.

Perhaps seeing a few old ones will get them going.

Bet NHL Odds

Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd are among four members of the Blackhawks' first championship club in 49 years now in Atlanta, setting up an intriguing reunion when Chicago visits Philips Arena looking to avoid a sixth loss in eight games Saturday night.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Blackhawks –140 money line favorites for Saturday's game against the Thrashers. Current MLB Public Betting Information shows that 67% of more than 638 bets for this game have been placed on the Blackhawks -140.

Byfuglien and Ladd both scored 17 goals in 2009-10, but perhaps no player was more vital - or surprising - to the Cup run than Byfuglien.

After serving as a defenseman early in his NHL career, Byfuglien proved to be a force up front in last season's playoffs. He scored a team high-tying 11 goals - all from Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals on - and had five points in Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Exactly two weeks after both he and Ladd scored in the Cup clincher, Byfuglien was dealt - along with defenseman Brent Sopel and forward Ben Eager - to Atlanta in a cap-clearing move that involved seven players and two draft picks.

On July 1, the Blackhawks sent restricted free agent Ladd to the Thrashers.

"It really saddens me," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said at the time. "Those are my good buddies leaving our team."

Byfuglien has moved back to the blue line in Atlanta, but that hasn't kept him from scoring. The 6-foot-4, 257 pounder has five goals and 12 points, tying him for the team high with Ladd (four goals, eight assists) ahead of a matchup all four former Blackhawks are eagerly anticipating.

"It's gonna be a little bit different, but it's in the past and we've got to move on," Byfuglien said. "Now I get to run them into the boards, so it's exciting and you might as well have fun with it.

"We can be friends afterwards, but we can't be friends during the game."

The Blackhawks weren't done making roster changes after dealing Byfuglien, and aside from a four-game winning streak from Oct. 15-20, they've been unable to string together victories while adjusting to their new roster.

Chicago has dropped five of seven after falling 5-3 at home to struggling New Jersey on Wednesday. The Blackhawks (7-7-1) have been tied or ahead in the third period of six of their seven defeats.

"This is very comparable to the (other) games we lost," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've got to manufacture points. When you do that, you can manufacture wins."

Chicago has still averaged 3.0 goals in four games since Marian Hossa (upper-body injury) went down, but with the former Thrashers star and fellow forward Dave Bolland still out, it recalled Jeremy Morin - acquired in the Byfuglien trade - on Friday.

Morin thrived in the preseason on a line with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane, recording a goal and three assists in six games, but he was sent to AHL Rockford in favor of keeping another defenseman. Morin had three goals and an assist with the IceHogs.

The Thrashers (6-5-2) will be eager to bounce back after giving up 42 shots Thursday in a 3-0 home loss to Columbus in front of a franchise-low 8,461 fans.

There might be a few more seats filled at Philips Arena for this matchup.

"There's a little incentive playing a team that traded you away," Ladd said. "So I'm sure we'll be using that to get ready for Saturday."

Bet NHL Odds

Recent NHL Discussions

Saturday Sharp Action NHL on Sat, Jan 2021 by Jimmythegreek
NHL STARS on Wed, Sep 2020 by iceman17
Chicago Blackhawks on Sat, Aug 2020 by Surfer
Loading...

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Monday NHL: Blues vs. Sharks The Blues had their four-game winning streak snapped by the Kings over the weekend but can they start a new streak on Monday night when they visit the Sharks at 9:00 p.m....
Thumbnail Devils vs. Bruins Sunday Prediction The under has been profitable when the Devils and Bruins meet either in New Jersey or Boston, which is where the teams will play tonight at 5:00 p.m. ET. Is the...
Thumbnail Flyers vs. Penguins NHL Prediction The over has been a profitable play when the Flyers and Penguins square off and the two Eastern Conference foes will do just that on Saturday afternoon when they meet...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Kings Friday Prediction The Blues have won three in a row but the last time they lost was against a Kings team that they’ll take on tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET. Will St. Louis come through for...
Thumbnail Blue Jackets vs. Stars NHL Prediction Two teams that have struggled to generate offense will meet in Dallas on Thursday night when the Stars host the Blue Jackets at 8:30 p.m. ET. With the total...

NHL Headlines