After a small card on the docket yesterday, we get back to a regular slate of action tonight in the NHL. Everybody is still buzzing about the Super Bowl, and rightfully so, but there should be plenty of exciting action elsewhere on the sports landscape. I will be counting down the days before college football kickoff in August, though. We get back to our NHL picks tonight in Nashville, as the Predators play host to the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have been a not so quality team this season, and are going through a tough stretch in 2016-17.
Could it be the Roberto Luongo curse that is going to plague this team for the foreseeable future? The fact of the matter is that the Canucks have been a below average team ever since he left town. Luongo was none too pleased in his final years in Vancouver, as the team tried to ween off him and go towards Eddie Lack. Neither are in Vancouver anymore, and Lack has proven that he is not good enough to be a starter elsewhere. Luongo is doing his best to keep his career going in Florida and is still churning out positive performances at age 37. He isn’t going to be around for much longer and is having fun wrapping his career up where it all began in Florida. Less pressure, less expectations, and less of a headache than he had in Vancouver.
Ryan Miller has been the primary option in Vancouver for the Canucks, and all of their problems cannot fall on him. Let’s be real, if Luongo was here all the blame would be on him. It doesn’t matter how untalented they are elsewhere, it’d be all on Luongo. Miller isn’t catching too much flack in Vancouver, because I think by now the fans realize the team just isn’t good from the top to the bottom. The Canucks enter Nashville with a record of 23-23-4, which doesn’t look so bad, but nothing where they were some year ago, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. You all remember the Vancouver riots, right? Let’s head to Nashville and search for a winner.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators Pick
There are A LOT of teams within reach of the playoffs, and seeing themselves on the outside of the playoffs. Get ready for one wild ride down the stretch, because I think things are going to come down to the final night or two in the regular season. By the looks of it, the 25-19-5 Preds are going to be one of those teams who barely get in, or who are just sitting out. Nashville have been particularly good at home with a record of 14-6-4, compared to less than .500 on the road. The Canucks come into this one with three straight losses. During those three games, they scored just 4 goals and allowed 13 goals.
The Canucks have averaged just 1.80 goals across their last ten games and allowed 2.80 goals. Understandably so, it’s kind of difficult to put all the blame on the defence or goaltending with their porous production offensively. The Canucks are 28th in the NHL overall offensively. The Preds have been steadily getting better on the defensive end from a year ago, as they are 9th in the NHL in that regard. Note that the Canucks are 6-15-1 on the road for the worst road record in the league. The Predators should be able to make quick work of the Canucks tonight, which makes the puck line at +153 look rather attractive for our NHL pick this evening.
PICK: PREDATORS -1.5 (+153)