Canucks face another desperate team
The Vancouver Canucks will try to stop the home bleeding on Thursday night when they host the Winnipeg Jets for the first time in over a decade.
Winnipeg Jets (32-27-8) at Vancouver Canucks (41-18-8)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 8, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: TSN-JETS, SNET-P (HD)
Jets vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog
Spread: Canucks -1 ½ (+150)
Moneyline: Jets +174: Canucks -192
Over/Under: 5 ½ goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*
The Jets have been playing very well as of late and currently occupy an Eastern Conference playoff spot while the Canucks have suddenly slid to second place in the West on the heels of their two game losing streak.
The Winnipeg Jets enter Thursday night’s contest having won two straight games and having gone 5-1-2 in their last eight games. But that record was due to the fact that the Jets were playing at home – they are a much different team on the road this season with a 11-17-4 record.
The Jets have ascended to eighth place in the Eastern Conference after wins against teams that they are currently fighting with for the last playoff spot in the East – Tampa Bay, Florida and Buffalo to name a few.
The offense has caught fire over the last month or so and although the club is 16th in the NHL in goals for, players like Blake Wheeler (16 points in 9 games), Evander Kane (seven goals and eight assists in nine games) and Brian Little (four points in two games) have elevated their games as the Jets fight for their playoff lives.
Part of Winnipeg’s success has been due to a power play that ranks ninth in the league. But just like their overall road record, the Jets struggle with the man advantage on the road – 27th away from home on the power play.
Ondrej Pavelec figures to get the start in goal on Thursday for Winnipeg – he has been spectacular of late posting a 2-0-0 record in his last two starts with a 0.50 goals against average and a .982 save percentage.
The Vancouver Canucks have lost two straight games and uncharacteristically have lost two of their last three games on home ice and four of their last five games overall.
Their unflattering play has resulted in the St. Louis Blues leapfrogging them atop the Western Conference standings and has allowed the Detroit Red Wings to close the gap for the #1 seed in the West.
One need not look further than the play of three of Vancouver’s offensive studs to see why they are struggling. Henrik Sedin is pointless in six games, Daniel Sedin has just one assist over that span and Ryan Kesler has just one goal in his last 13 games! The once vaunted power play has gone cold as well.
Leading the league for most of the season, the Canucks have gone 3 for 37 recently with the man advantage!
The secondary scoring has been holding Vancouver in games however – Zack Kassian and David Booth have two points in two games and Alex Burrows has three points in three games while Kevin Bieksa has four assists in his last three contests.
It remains to be seen who will start between the pipes for Vancouver on Thursday. Roberto Luongo is 0-1-0 with a staggering 6.67 goals against average in his last two starts while Cory Schneider is 1-1-1 with a 1.00 goals against average in his last three appearances.
Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Canucks Betting Prediction
The Vancouver Canucks have owned the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise the last few years posting a 8-2-1-1 record in the last 12 meetings and having won five of the last six games against the Jets/Thrashers.
Vancouver has delivered two straight duds. Could it happen three times in a row on home ice? It is true that the Canucks have played a string of teams that are in a desperate fight for the playoffs but good teams need to find a way to win.
I think Vancouver gets it done Thursday – there is too much pride in the dressing room to allow another ugly effort.
In a close game, take the home team to snap its recent home skid and to send their deserved fans away happy.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -192
Here are some interesting Player Props for Thursday’s game:
Game 68 Jets vs. Canucks: Vancouver Must End Tailspin Now
- NWSB Insider and Vancouver Canucks writer Josh Hall runs down the main story-lines heading into the Canucks first matchup with the Winnipeg Jets since February 1996. When and where will Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin bump their frustrating slumps? How will hometown heroes Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd perform for the hopefully playoff bound Jets?
Managing Editor “Q’s” Game Notes + Preview (Up in AM)
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