For The Gamblers!
Headline: Canucks Head to Phoenix to Take On Struggling Coyotes
The Vancouver Canucks, fresh off a much needed home win against St. Louis head out on the road Thursday night to take of the Phoenix Coyotes, a team that returns home after a dismal 0-3-1 road trip. Vancouver will look for a rare 60 minute effort on Thursday – their recent inconsistent play has been plagued by frequent lapses.
Vancouver Canucks (14-9-6) at Phoenix Coyotes (13-13-4)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 21, 2013
Where: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Broadcast: Sportsnet Pacific, Fox Sports Arizona
Canucks vs. Coyotes Betting Lines from Bodog
Vancouver Canucks -1½ +260 -110 Ov 5 -126
Phoenix Coyotes +1½ -310 +100 Un 5 +114
Despite Phoenix’s struggles as of late Thursday’s game figures to be a challenge – the Coyotes are good on home ice and they did win the only meeting between the two clubs this year.
Finally the goaltending stole a game for the Vancouver Canucks. After getting badly outplayed in the first and third periods of Tuesday’s game against the Blues, the Canucks salvaged a .500 record on their four game home stand thanks to Cory Schneider who made 32 saves including 15 in the first period.
The Canucks still have a ton of work to do – they still sit in second in the Northwest and are currently fighting for a playoff spot with the mosh of teams from fourth to eighth in the West.
Vancouver’s offense has still been spotty at best – no Ryan Kesler and David Booth have made it difficult to find any sort of chemistry for this team. The injury to Zack Kassian hasn’t helped matters much either. The Canucks are up to an average of 2.69 goals for per game – still a far cry from where most thought they would be at this point of the season.
Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist the other night and now has three points in his last two games while Dale Weiss has three points in his last four. Henrik Sedin has scored five of his eight goals in the last eight games and snapped a five-game series goal drought versus Phoenix last month. If you are looking for other Canucks that have been Hot – keep looking!
The goaltending that Vancouver benefitted from early in the season may just be coming around once again. Cory Schneider was the difference Tuesday night. He should get the start again Thursday although he was in net when the Canucks lost to Phoenix on February 26th. This season Schneider is 7-5-3 with a 2.59 goals-against average while splitting time with Robert Luongo.
Schneider made 18 saves against the Coyotes last month. Luongo, 7-4-3 with a 2.47 GAA, has allowed 12 goals during a 1-2-0 stretch in which he has a 4.05 GAA. However, he has a 1.47 GAA and a shutout while winning two straight at Phoenix.
The Phoenix Coyotes appear to be a fragile bunch ahead of their Thursday showdown. They were 0-3-1 on their recent road trip and were shut out in the first three games on the trip – yuk! They did score twice in LA last time out to end a streak of 245 minutes without a goal but it still resulted in a loss.
The Coyotes average 2.53 goals per game but absolutely nobody outside of Shane Doan who has two points in two games looks dangerous at the present time.
Defensively, the Coyotes have been equally poor as of late. Goaltender Mike Smith has allowed seven goals in his last two games – equaling what he’s yielded while winning three straight versus Vancouver.
He has started Phoenix’s last seven games and could be rested in favor of Jason Labarbera who is 0-1-0 with a 0.52 GAA and .978 save % age in his last four appearances.
Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction:
A few trends to consider:
• VAN are 8-2 in their last 10 Thu. games.
• Over is 11-4-4 in VAN last 19 Thu. games.
• Under is 13-5-5 in VAN last 23 road games.
• PHO are 43-21 in their last 64 vs. Northwest.
• Road team is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
• Over is 5-2-1 in the last 8 meetings in Phoenix.
The Phoenix Coyotes will be happy to be home where they have been solid as of late. They have averaged 3.5 non-shootout goals while winning six of eight on home ice and they have won three straight against the Canucks. That said, the scoring just hasn’t been there for Phoenix and the goaltending has been rather suspect.
I can’t see the Coyotes flicking the switch on Thursday night.