The Chicago Blackhawks were sellers this year at the NHL's trade deadline in February because it didn't appear the Hawks had any chance of making the playoffs. So, general manager Stan Bowman shipped out goaltender Robin Lehner to Vegas and defenseman Erik Gustafsson to Calgary. Of course, the coronavirus shutdown changed everything, and now the Hawks do find themselves in the postseason. They take on the Oilers in Edmonton in the best-of-five qualifying round starting Aug. 1. The Oilers are -170 series favorites on the William Hill moneyline odds.
It could be that the Hawks are down to their third-string goaltender because it's not clear whether Corey Crawford will be fit to play. The Hawks opened camp on Monday and Crawford was deemed "unfit" to play. The team is being purposely vague because the NHL prohibiting teams from releasing medical information in Phases 3 and 4 to protect the privacy of the player. Crawford also did not take part in any of Chicago's voluntary workouts during Phase 2.
The 35-year-old had been splitting time in net with Lehner but started the final eight games before the shutdown with Lehner gone. Crawford, who helped the Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 & '15, was 16-20-3 this season with a 2.77 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
If Crawford isn't fit by the Oilers series, the Hawks would turn to either Malcolm Subban, who came back in the Lehner trade with the Golden Knights, or Collin Delia. Subban is 9-7-3 this season with a 3.17 GAA and .890 save percentage. Delia has only played 18 games in his career and never in the playoffs.
William Hill has posted Game 1 lines for each playoff series. The Oilers, who clearly are at an advantage playing at home even though there won't be fans in attendance (Toronto is the hub city for the Eastern Conference), are -145 favorites. The Over-Under is 6.5 goals.
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