Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota
The Vancouver Canucks and the Minnesota Wild bring two game winning streaks into Thursday night’s showdown in a game for third place in the Northwest division.
Vancouver Canucks (6-5-0-1) at Minnesota Wild (5-3-2-1)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, November 3, 2011
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Broadcast: SNET-P (HD), FS-N (HD), FS-WI (HD)
Canucks vs. Wild Betting Lines from Bovada.eu
Spread: Canucks -1 ½ (+230)
Moneyline: Canucks -122: Wild +112
Over/Under: 5 goals
While the Canucks have been getting it done with offense this season so far, it has been defense and goaltending that has propelled the Wild to a 5-3-2-1 record.
Vancouver, despite being shut out an uncharacteristic three times already this season have scored 2.75 goals per game so far this season – 12 goals in their last two games! The Sedins have been typically strong this season but it has been the role players that have sparked the Canucks offense. Max Lapierre score twice on Saturday, Chris Higgins has three goals in his last two games and Alex Edler has three points in each of the last two games. He is a surprising third on the Canucks with 12 points already this season.
Vancouver’s goaltending is coming around. Roberto Luongo had an October to forget but has won two straight decisions and he came within 28 seconds of his first shutout of the season in his last game. He may sit on Thursday however – Cory Schneider is 4-1-0 with a 1.67 GAA in his last five starts against the Wild while Lou has lost three straight in Minnesota while posting a 7.00 GAA.
Minnesota has been all about defense and goaltending so far this season – the team leader in goals is Devin Setoguchi with 4, the leader in points is Mikko Koivi with 7 (Henrik Sedin leads the Canucks with 14) and the team is averaging just 1.91 goals and 25 goals per game. Minnesota plays the defensive style that has typically given the Canucks fits in the past.
As mentioned, defense has been Minnesota’s strong suit. They give up just 2.09 goals per game and the power play is operating at an unflattering 12.5%. Josh Harding has given up one goal in his last two games combined and has a goals against average of 1.30 on the season.
He may sit on Thursday however – Harding has gone 0-3-0 with a 5.07 GAA in three career starts against the Canucks while Niklas Backstrom only been slightly better going 0-4 in his last 4 starts versus Vancouver with a 3.73 GAA.
Free Canucks Betting Prediction
Vancouver is 2-6 in their last 8 games following a win. Vancouver is 14-4-1 in the last 19 meetings with the Wild. The home team is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings.
Vancouver appears to be on the cusp of a terrific winning streak – they are scoring goals by the boat load! With 4 lines rolling, the Canucks will be a handful for sure on Thursday.
Special teams could be the difference. Minnesota`s penalty kill is a weakness (78.9%) while Vancouver has two PP goals in each of the last two games and they’ve gone 6 for 9 with the man advantage during a four-game win streak over the Wild.
Vancouver is finally hot – they won`t be denied!
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -122