For The Gamblers! Vancouver vs. Nashville pick
Canucks Look to Rebound Versus Plummeting Preds
The Vancouver Canucks have the honor of playing their third straight struggling team on the road when they head to Nashville Monday night. Vancouver started their five game road trip with a win in Calgary, and then they lost in regulation to the Colorado Avalanche for the first time in 3 1/2 years.
Vancouver Canucks -1½ +195 -152 Ov 5 -115
Nashville Predators +1½ -225 +138 Un 5 +104
Now they get a crack at the Nashville Predators, losers of six straight games and winners of just one of their last 10 games overall. The Canucks have won both games in the series so far this season – it seems that there is little excuse for them to drop their second straight on Monday night.
The Vancouver Canucks held and then lost the lead twice in Colorado on Saturday afternoon – turnovers were plentiful and the defensive play wasn’t exactly to the caliber we have come to expect from this team. Still, the team continues to score some goals as it ramps up for the playoffs which start in two weeks time.
The Canucks offense has finally woken up to the tune of 18 goals in their last five games – a far cry from the offense that averaged around 2 1/2 goals for the bulk of the season. The power play looks better and the chemistry seems to be coming along.
Defensemen have led the way on the score sheet as of late - Dan Hamhuis has a five-game points streak (two goals, three assists) and Jason Garrison also has five points in his past five games (one goal, four assists). Up front Alex Burrows has five goals and two assists in his past 10 games, Ryan Kesler has four points in his past three games (one goal, three assists), Daniel Sedin has five assists and one goal in his past five games and Henrik Sedin has two goals and six assists in his past five games. The team as a whole seems to have turned the corner offensively – they are getting consistent contributions from their stars and the depth is coming into play.
Roberto Luongo, who started one of 11 games between March 19 and April 8, will get the call Monday for second time in three games. He looked good in Calgary Thursday and has a 1.53 GAA and a .952 save % age in his last two appearances.
The Nashville Predators have been awful as of late. Injuries are a huge part of their struggles! Gabriel Bourque, Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad are out. Center Mike Fisher (upper body), right wing Patric Hornqvist (upper body) and wing Brandon Yip (lower body) also will likely be out - not good. As a result of the injuries the Preds have scored just six goals in their last six games - all losses while being shut out three times over that stretch – ugly indeed.
It isn't clear who will start between the pipes for Nashville on Monday - Chris Mason gave up five goals on 18 shots on Friday in a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars but Pekka Rinne started in goal on Sunday in a 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Rinne certainly hasn't been the reason for Nashville’s struggles - he has allowed just 12 goals in his past six starts but is 0-2-0 in his last two starts with a very good 1.53 GAA and excellent .947 save % age over that span.
The Vancouver Canucks used their “road-trip mulligan” on Saturday against Colorado. Expect a much better effort Monday as they try to right the wrongs that led to the loss. Coach Alain Vigneault has been experimenting in practice with his lines trying to find some extra chemistry down the stretch. Unless his tweaking is an unmitigated disaster, the Canucks should win this one easily!
Pick: Vancouver Canucks -152
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