Going To Disneyland
The Vancouver Canucks, fresh off a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose head to Anaheim to take on an underwhelming Ducks team that won their most recent game – a 3-2 win in San Jose.
Vancouver Canucks (23-12-2) at Anaheim Ducks (10-19-6)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 29, 2011
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Broadcast: SNET-P (HD), KDOC (HD)
Canucks vs. Ducks Betting Lines from Bovada.lv
Spread: Canucks -1.5 (+190)
Moneyline: Canucks -144: Ducks +131
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*
Vancouver is right where most expected they would be – atop the Northwest Division standings and knocking on the door of Top Spot in the Western Conference.
The Ducks on the other hand sit dead last in the Pacific Division – 14 points behind Phoenix and 15 points out of a playoff position.
Vancouver’s recent record is impressive to say the least. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, 14-3-1 in their last 18 games overall and 9-2-1 in their last 12 on the road. Every aspect of the game is clicking for the Canucks – offensively and defensively they are once again viewed as one of the top 2 or 3 most balanced teams in the NHL.
Offensively it has been the Andrew Ebbett show – seriously! He has three goals in his last two games.
The top line has been uber-productive as well. Daniel Sedin has 3 goals and 4 assists in his last six games for the Canucks, Henrik Sedin has points in 11 of 13 and line mate Alex Burrows has five goals in his last seven games.
Defense and goaltending have been superb as of late for Vancouver. Roberto Luongo is 9-1-1 in his last 11 appearances with a goals against average of 1.70 in those games. However, Lou is just 2-4-2 with a 4.65 GAA in his last eight starts versus the Ducks.
Expect Cory Schneider to start for Vancouver against Anaheim he is 1-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA in four appearances against the Ducks. Schneider needs the work as well – he is 0-1-0 with a 3.64 GAA in three appearances this month.
The Ducks have arguably been the most disappointing team in the NHL this season – dead last in the Pacific Division and a long shot to make the playoffs already.
They are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games overall and are and are 3-6-2 overall since Bruce Boudreau took over as coach. Both offense and defense have been an issue for the Ducks – they simply aren’t that great a team!
Anaheim enters Thursday’s game with the league’s 27th ranked offense – pretty hard to imagine when the team possesses names like Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne!
Forward Matt Beleskey is the hottest Duck – he has points in two of his last three games!
Anaheim will be without Sakku Koivu once again on Thursday – he is still out with injury.
Defensively, the Ducks have been as bad as the offense but the blame can be squarely directed at Jonas Hiller who has an ugly 3.06 goals against average and an uncharacteristic .902 save percentage this season.
However, against the Canucks he is 6-1-1 with a 3.00 GAA in his last eight appearances.
Dave’s Free Canucks Betting Predictions
The Vancouver Canucks are 14-3-1 in their last 18 games overall but are just 1-4-0 in the second of back-to-back games this season.
The Ducks are 7-2-2 in the last 11 matchups overall versus the Canucks, and are 4-1-1 in their last six home meetings with Vancouver. The Ducks haven’t won consecutive games since winning four straight Oct. 8-17.
The teams have alternated victories in the last six meetings.
This game, on paper is a matchup of the men versus the boys. With 1st place in the Western Conference only two points beyond their grasp and the 50 point plateau a win away, don’t expect Vancouver to take their foot off the gas.
The Canucks are simply a better team in every aspect and although they have had their issues, particularly in Anaheim, Vancouver should walk away with a win in this one.
Vancouver is on fire – Anaheim certainly is not!
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -144
Here are some interesting Player Props for Thursday’s game:
Corey Perry Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (2.00) | Under (1.35)
Henrik Sedin Points
Line = 1.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
Daniel Sedin Shots on Goal
Line = 3.5 Over (1.40) | Under (1.85)
Ryan Kesler Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)
Alex Burrows Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)
Kevin Bieksa Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.60) | Under (1.60)
Anaheim Shots on Goal
Line = 28.5 Over (1.60) | Under (1.60)
Cody Hodgson Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)