The Vancouver Canucks travel all the way down to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes. They make the trip to Arizona after four games on the road, which resulted in two overtime wins, an overtime loss, and a loss in regulation. It’s been that kind of up and down year for the Canucks, who are trying to stay afloat in a competitive league. In the NFL, a record of .500 will get you a look at the playoffs in some divisions sadly enough. There is no room for that in the NHL. In fact, if you’re at the .500 mark, you’ll be getting a decent pick in the draft. The Canucks might be looking forward to better than a decent pick in the draft this season. To be honest, they should just tank the year and plan on getting a high selection. They aren’t making the playoffs, I’m going to say it right now, which isn’t the boldest of predictions in the world today. So, instead of being stuck in-flux between a bad and average team, just tank, Canucks!
I think there are a few guys on that team who are too prideful to just lay down and become a crash test dummy for the rest of the league, though. Notably, Daniel and Henrik Sedin who have been with this franchise through thick and think. If any two guys deserved to win a Stanley Cup back a few years ago against the Bruins, it’s Daniel and Henrik. They won’t be winning the Cup this season, nor will it happen in the foreseeable future with the Canucks. Perhaps they catch on with another team as aged veterans to provide leadership to a playoff team, but other than that, the championship is not going to come in Vancouver. They get to warm up in warmer weather in Arizona, and for the Canucks’ sake, they hope the sticks get a bit hotter as well.
The Canucks didn’t know how good they had it when Roberto Luongo was in Vancouver. It was a bitter divorce between the Canucks and Luongo, after the team slowly weened him off from the starting job. The starter’s role went to Eddie Lack who isn’t even with the team anymore. Lack is in Carolina, and the Canucks have been relying on Ryan Miller, the ex-Sabre in net primarily. Miller has not been able to find the same kind of magic he once had in Buffalo. He spent time in the Blues’ organization, where he didn’t look the same and now Miller has been struggling as a Canuck, notably this season. Miller comes into Wednesday night with a record of 2-7, including a shaky 2.92 GAA and 0.899 save percentage. Understandably so, the Canucks are 25th in the NHL, with 3.16 goals allowed per game.
The Coyotes will likely look to Mike Smith tonight, who if was on a good team, might be getting some recognition. Instead Smith plays on a bad Coyotes team with a bad defence. Of course, if Smith could stay healthy on another team, something he’s had trouble doing in Arizona. He’s recently returned to action, posting a 0.922 save percentage and 2.59 GAA in four games. However, here’s a guy that needs to stand on his head. Note that the Yotes are allowing 34 shots per game, near the back of the NHL, and are allowing 3.29 goals per game, 28th in the league. The total strikes me as odd in this one tonight. We have two teams in the bottom 5 of the NHL defensively and we’re getting a total of 5, huh? I know the juice favors the OVER, but I’m fairly surprised this isn’t 5.5. I am going to try and take advantage here and make a play on the total to go OVER the number.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-125)