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NHL Betting - Hawks at Wings

NHL betting fans will have one of the greatest and most intense traditional rivalry matchups in all of sports to handicap Thursday against the hockey odds.

NHL betting fans have taken notice of the slow start by the Detroit Red Wings against the hockey odds this year while the Chicago Blackhawks look as good as advertised. The Detroit Red Wings have long been one of the traditional powers of NHL betting and a team that has always been a popular first choice for those who bet the hockey odds.

But there is concern that Detroit’s best NHL betting days are behind them and that skepticism only grew in their NHL betting opening weekend in Europe where they were swept in back to back games against their central division rival St. Louis Blues.

Detroit lost the opening game 3-4 and the second game 3-5 as their defense showed NHL betting handicappers little to be impressed with.  Backup goaltending is a concern for the Red Wings as Ty Conklin has departed and Jimmy Howard was ineffective in that second loss to the Blues.

Howard and the Wings blew a 2-goal lead in the loss.  St. Louis had their way on the power play against Detroit with 3 goals in 5 attempts.  Head coach Mike Babcock was dissatisfied with the effort saying, “I thought they took the game over two nights in a row, physically and work ethic wise”.

The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, enjoyed their European opening weekend with a shootout loss and shutout win against the Florida Panthers.  Chicago scored 7 goals in those first two NHL betting matchups which is encouraging as Marian Hossa is out until next month.

Rookie backup Antti Niemi scored a NHL betting shutout in his debut last Saturday which is encouraging.  It was a special win for Niemi as it took place in his native Finland.  Cristobal Huet, who split time as the starter last year, is the number one goaltender for the 2009-10 NHL betting campaign.

Right winger Patrick Kane picked up where he left off last year as he had a goal and an assist in each game.  This will be Detroit’s home opener and a game in which they hope to stop the early season bleeding.