The Vancouver Canucks are in the final stretch of their season, as there won’t be any playoffs in their future, at least not this year. The Canucks have some talented young players in their arsenal, but there are undoubtedly improvements to be made. When you’re a 26-40-6 hockey team, yeah, I’d say that there is work to be done. This isn’t to say they aren’t on the wrong track. The Canucks were plagued by injuries from the top to the bottom.
Ever since the opening puck dropped on the regular season, the injury bug has reared its ugly head on the Canucks. It’s the end of March and here we are talking about another injury. Brock Boeser was dinged up earlier this season but played through it. A back injury a few weeks ago was enough to take him out of action, though. Boeser was a serious Calder candidate, but the injury may have officially did him in. There are some other attractive options out there as well.
Playing on a 26-win team hasn’t done him any favours, either. The Canucks have been forced to go to the AHL to have enough players to put a team on the ice. A healthy Canucks team isn’t a 26-40-6 squad. They certainly wouldn’t be great, but at least something a little more respectable than 14 games below .500. Along with Boeser, the Canucks are down another eight on their roster.
The Stars on the other hand are still alive, but they need a strong finish. They’re currently 5 points behind the Blues with a record of 38-29-8. Missing out on the playoffs would be a failure for the Stars, but they will have no one to blame but themselves. The Stars have lost seven straight games and nine of their last ten games. Pathetic display for a team who looked like they were looking good for the playoffs. A loss against a 26-40-6 Canucks team would maybe put the dagger in them tonight. Head below for our free Canucks vs. Stars pick.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Dallas Stars Pick
The Canucks have some excuses for why they’ve been playing so poorly. Conversely, the Stars can’t muster up any reason why, other than poor effort and execution. Sure, Jason Spezza and Ben Bishop have been fighting injuries, but if Spezza and Bishop are enough to derail as season, they don’t belong in the playoffs to begin with. Spezza has also looked like on the wrong side of 30 this season. In the Stars last ten games, they’ve averaged 2.1 goals per game while allowing 3.2 per game. Luckily enough, they get a Canucks team tonight who cannot fill the back of the net.
With all of the injuries the Canucks have gone through, it’s really no surprise that the offence is struggling. The Stars have dropped seven in a row, while the Canucks have lost eight of nine games. In those nine games, they scored more than 2 goals only once with an average of 1.4 goals per game. In six of nine, they notched 1 or 0 goals.
Note that the Canucks haven’t liked playing in Dallas, as they sport a 1-7 record in their last eight here. The Stars have been struggling, but they’re still competent at home where they are 24-11-3. Much of their recent damage came on the road. If they can’t win and win solidly against the Canucks tonight they may as well give up. However, I look for a much needed 4-1 or 4-2 win for the Stars on Sunday.
PICK: STARS -1.5 (+110)