Nashville at Vancouver
Two largely disappointing Western Conference teams meet in Vancouver on Thursday night in hopes of changing their seasons around.
Nashville Predators (2-2-0-1) at Vancouver Canucks (2-3-0-1)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 20, 2011
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: SPSO, SNET-VAN (HD)
Preds vs. Canucks betting Lines from Bovada.eu
Spread: Canucks -1 ½ (+185)
Moneyline: Predators +153: Canucks -168
Over/Under: 5 goals
The Nashville Predators have lost three straight games while the Vancouver Canucks are losers of four of their first six games this season. Both are projected playoff teams but neither is playing like it early in the season.
Nashville has long been the team that does the most with the least – Coach Barry Trotz employs a very effective defensive system that has served the perceived lack of talent very well.
But so far, the Preds have given up a very uncharacteristic 2.80 goals per game while scoring just 2.40. The team depends on defense and goaltending but has not been getting quality starts from any of their defensive stars.
Pekka Rinne has played every minute so far this season and has posted a respectable but not astounding 2.37 goals against average.
Offensively, Nashville has been getting good efforts from its top guns but is seriously lacking in depth and secondary scoring. David Legwand has eight points in five games and Sergei Kostitsyn has registered a point in every game this season. Only 7 roster players for the Predators have more than one point on the season however.
The Canucks will be a hungry team on Thursday night. They are coming off an ultra-rare shutout loss at home although they dominated most of that game.
The Canucks fired 40 shots at Henrik Lundqvist but were unable to solve him. Vancouver deserved a better fate and will be out to prove it on Thursday night.
The Canucks have a nearly full complement of forwards with the return of Ryan Kesler to the lineup. He looked good on Tuesday and provides some stability at the forward position for his team.
The Canucks need to bury a few of their chances, particularly on the Power Play in order for them to have success.
Much has been made about the play of Roberto Luongo so far this season – the microscope is unrelenting on the West Coast. He has allowed at least three goals in all four starts he’s made this season and looks shaky to say the least.
The Nashville Predators are having a terrible time early in the season generating any sort of offensive flow. They managed just 12 shots on goal in their Monday loss to the Oilers and are averaging just 23 shots per game so far this season. Vancouver just faced and lost to a team with similar issues.
But, like all good teams do, expect the Canucks to bounce back on Thursday and finally send their rabid fans home happy. Vancouver deserves a victory on home ice and will get it Thursday night!
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -168
Player Props will be added in the AM.
ODDS: PlayNow.com as usual hasn’t even released odds for this game yet. Bovada has the Canucks favored with -153 Odds.