The Canucks are who we thought they were. Well, they’ve been playing a lot like who we thought they were before the season started. The Canucks enter on a three-game skid, with losses to the Flyers, Flames, and Jets. They weren’t competitive in the least, as they averaged less than 2 goals per game, with just 1 goal in two of them.
Scoring only 1 goal and losing 4-1 against the Flyers isn’t a good look. In any case, with an overall record of 14-13-2, it’s better than expected in Vancouver. There aren’t really too many redeeming qualities with the Canucks this season, but they’ve been holding their own. The Sedin twins aren’t nearly the players they used to be, which of course is part of getting older. Henrik Sedin has just 2 goals on the year, and Daniel has 6. The offence is prone to going on drought, and seem to be in one at the moment.
The Predators have been as good as advertised this season. They couldn’t complete the fairy tale ending last season, but to reach it that far was an accomplishment in its own right. The Preds will have a good crack at another run at the Stanley Cup this season.
As long as they stay healthy, I don’t see why they won’t be contenders in the Western Conference again. They can beat any team in that conference. The key to the game tonight is not overlooking the Canucks. After five of six at home in Nashville, the Predators head on the road out west. We’ll see if this turns into a trap game for the Predators. Head below for our free Predators vs. Canucks pick.
Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick
This is a rematch from November 30th, a surprising 5-3 win for the Canucks in Nashville. If you don’t take them seriously, they can come up and bite pretty good. There has been absolutely no bite in their game lately, though, in their last three they averaged 1.3 goals per game, while allowing 4.3 goals per game. Two of those three games were at home. Prior to that, they had three wins in a row, including over the Predators, 5-3. Pekka Rinne did not have a good night, allowing 4 goals for a 0.871 save percentage.
It’s rare to find Rinne have an off night, but the Canucks took care of him. On the year, he owns a 2.40 GAA and 0.926 save percentage with a record of 16-4-3, so it was just a bad night at the office for him. The Predators haven’t taken back-to-back losses since November 1st. They will look to avoid another tonight in Vancouver. Note that the Canucks have taken a hit on the injury front. Two of their leading goal scorers are both out.
Sven Baertschi took a puck to the face which fractured his jaw, and then Bo Horvat is gone with a fractured ankle. I think they’re going to struggle mightily to find goals without Baertschi and Horvat. If the Preds beat the Canucks in their last meeting, I’d be inclined to believe they would take them lightly. However, they had an awful out and lost at home to Vancouver. I can see Nashville returning the favour against the banged up Canucks.
PICK: PREDATORS (-130)