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Can Blackhawks’ championship core bring one more title to Chicago?

The Chicago Blackhawks’ betting odds to win the Stanley Cup aren’t too favorable as of now, but they should never be overlooked in the NHL. They have been up and down as of late, but the Blackhawks’ playoff chances are still quite good and they’re worth a bet.

The Blackhawks were the gold standard of the NHL for what feels like 20 years. Granted, it was only six or seven years, but the Blackhawks were a formidable foe for any opponent during the early-to-mid 2010s. From 2010 to 2015, the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups while only having to play in two Game Sevens during those three Stanley Cup runs

However, since 2015, the Blackhawks have struggled. They have not won a playoff series since they lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup after beating the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. They lost in seven games to their rival St. Louis Blues in 2016 then were infamously swept in 2017 by the Nashville Predators.

The Blackhawks fell off a cliff after that season, going from six straight 100-point seasons (or on pace for well over 100 points in the lockout-shortened season) to just 76 points in the 2017-18 season. That was their worst point total in 10 years dating back to when they had 71 points in the 2006-07 season and subsequently drafted Patrick Kane with the No. 1 overall pick. Hell, the Blackhawks had more points (77) in the 48-game lockout-shortened season in 2013 than they had in the 82-game 2017-18 season.

Blackhawks Odds as They Try to Rebound After a Disappointing Season

Then, last season, it all came to a head. They still had most of their core in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford, and they had their head coach, Joel Quenneville, heading into the season. However, the Blackhawks parted ways with Coach Q after a poor start to the season.

They then continued to struggle before putting things together in the latter portion of the season thanks to Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome stepping up alongside Kane and Toews. They also had brought back Brandon Saad and Artem Anisimov, who had solid seasons.

Now, going into the 2019-20 NHL season, the Blackhawks have a good mix of experienced veterans in Toews, Kane, Saad, Keith and Crawford, as well as the youthful skill of DeBrincat, Strome, Caggiula and Erik Gustafsson. Add in Robin Lehner to support Crawford and a young, confident coach in Jeremy Colliton and the Blackhawks have a good-looking group heading into training camp and the regular season.

The Blackhawks’ over/under for points is set at 90.5 points. Given that number, it seems like the over is a solid bet. They were awful early on in the season last year and still managed 84 points. The addition of Lehner alone should get them seven more points, not to mention a full season of a strong group of players.

Having said that, could the Blackhawks make some noise in the playoffs? It’s definitely possible. They aren’t getting any respect in the division, with the second-worst odds to win the Central Division at +1100. Those actually seem like pretty fair odds, given the heavy competition ahead of them with Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg all being legitimate Cup contenders.

However, it may be worth a bet on the Blackhawks to win the West (+2300) or Stanley Cup (+4900). They may not be able to put together a full season to win the Central, but they have two strong goaltenders and the ability to go on a run to win the West or Cup. Both are strong options as a long-term flier bet.

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