Minnesota at Vancouver
The Vancouver Canucks have played their two best games of the season in their last two starts – one being a shutout loss and the other being a convincing 5-1 win on Thursday night. On Saturday afternoon, the Canucks welcome the Minnesota Wild, a team that they have absolutely dominated in the last few seasons.
Minnesota Wild (3-2-1-1) at Vancouver Canucks (3-3-0-1)
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 22, 2011
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: NHLN-US, FS-N (HD), SNET-P (HD)
Wild vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bovada.eu
Spread: Canucks -1 ½ (+145)
Moneyline: Wild +190: Canucks -210
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
Minnesota won on Thursday as well, a shocking 2-1 come-from-behind win in Edmonton.
Minnesota has struggled to score goals particularly in their last six games which could be a problem against the high powered Canucks. In their last four games, the Wild have gone to overtime or a shootout and have registered only six goals over that span. The power play has struggled to say the least. They are 0 for 14 in their last four games and on the season is operating at a disappointing 11.1%
The Vancouver Canucks deserved a win on Tuesday night against the Rangers but were stoned by an uber-hot Henrik Lundqvist. Vancouver took out their frustrations on Nashville on Thursday night. The Sedins are playing well, Ryan Kesler scored his first goal and Roberto Luongo finally resembled the world-class goalkeeper that most expected before the season.
Vancouver is still among the elite in the NHL. They are deep at forward, on defense and in goal. Slow starts are an unfortunate pattern for Vancouver but what we saw from them on Thursday night may represent the beginning of a positive streak.
NHL Betting Prediction
The Canucks are playing at home on Saturday afternoon, a place that they went 27-9-5 in 2010-11. Vancouver is 13-4-1 in the last 18 versus Minnesota including 7 straight victories at home. The Canucks have outscored the Wild 28-12 during that streak.
As for the goaltenders scheduled to start on Saturday, Cory Schneider has enjoyed plenty of success against Minnesota in his career, owning a 3-1-0 mark with a 1.62 goals-against average and a shutout in five appearances (four starts). He is 1-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA in two starts so far this season. While Nick Backstrom has been in net five times during Minnesota’s skid in Vancouver, posting a 3.64 GAA. The home team is 9-1 in the past ten match ups.
Vancouver has absolutely owned the Wild over the last few seasons and that trend should continue on Saturday. The Canucks know that a target is painted on their backs and seem to welcome their villain role. They have been underwhelming so far but Thursday’s 5-1 win was a great step forward.
The Canucks are simply better in every aspect of the game and should get it done on Saturday. Take Vancouver to prove once again why they are one of the three or four best teams in the NHL.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -210
Here are a few interesting Player Props for Saturday’s game:
Total Power Play Goals
Line = 1.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
Dany Heatley Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
Henrik Sedin Points
Line = 1.5 Over (1.80) | Under (1.45)
Ryan Kesler Shots on Goal
Line = 3.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
Alex Burrows Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.85) | Under (1.40)
Alexander Edler Shots on Goal
Line = 2.5 Over (1.60) | Under (1.60)
Minnesota Shots on Goal
Line = 26.5 Over (1.55) | Under (1.70)
Minnesota First Period Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)