Found February 09, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
An Ironman After Thursday?

A battle between the #1 and #2 teams in the Northwest Division headlines a busy night of NHL Betting action Thursday. The Vancouver Canucks, winners of two straight games and having played five straight extra-time contests head into Minnesota to take on the struggling Wild.


Vancouver Canucks (33-15-5) at Minnesota Wild (25-20-8)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 9, 2012
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Broadcast: SNET-P (HD), FS-N (HD), FS-WI (HD)
Canucks vs. Wild Betting Lines from Bodog
Spread: Canucks -1.5 (+195)
Moneyline: Canucks -144: Wild +131
Over/Under: 5 goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*

Minnesota may sit second in the division, but they are an astounding 13 points behind the runaway leaders of the Northwest, Vancouver.

There are a number of questions for the Canucks heading into Thursday’s game. The first centers on the availability of Captain Henrik Sedin who was spotted wearing a walking boot after getting injured in Nashville.

The second question is whether or not to rest Roberto Luongo who has started eight of Vancouver’s last nine games and has endured more than his share of overtimes and shootouts.

Vancouver is 7-1-2 in their last 10 game but they have yet to put in a full team effort in their last six or so outings. But they are still winning and that’s all that counts!

They are still fourth in the NHL in goals for and 7th in goals against – not too shabby at all.

The offense has been spread around lately – the Sedins are struggling but the role players have been doing their jobs – heck, Byron Bitz had a goal and an assist the other night! Ryan Kesler has regained his form and has a goal in four straight games and in six of seven while line mate David Booth has six points in seven games.

Jannik Hansen and Cody Hodgson have gone cold, pointless in their last three, and Manny Malhotra has failed to register a point in eight games.

Roberto Luongo has been playing well and he does have shutouts in three straight starts against Minnesota but they are all on home ice. Lou has struggled in Minnesota losing three straight and posting a goals against average of 7.00. Thursday may be Cory Schneider’s chance at some game action.

The Minnesota Wild have free fallen down the standings but somehow, despite a 5-18 record over their last 23 games still hold onto 8th in the West.

They have lost three of four games culminating in a brutal 3-1 loss against the worst of the worst, Columbus in their last game.

Canucks vs. Wild Handicapping Preview Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview Feb. 8

Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild Gambling Lines & Preview

The Wild rank 29th in the NHL in goals for but may get a boost with Mikko Koivu rumored to be returning to the lineup on Thursday. He is the offensive touch that Minnesota is sadly lacking – the team has gone 3-4-1 since he went down with a shoulder injury.

Not helping matters is the fact that Matt Cullen and Cal Clutterbuck are pointless in three games and Devin Setoguchi hasn’t recorded a point in four!

Goaltender Nik Backstrom has been the best Wild player this season and has the team 8th ranked in goals against. He is 2-1-1 in his last four starts with a 1.50 goals against average.

However, against Vancouver, he is 0-4-1 in his last five with a 3.78 goals against average.

Dave’s Free Won’t Cost You Anything NHL Betting Prediction:

The Vancouver Canucks are a league best 18-9-1 on the road this season. The home team is a staggering 14-2 in the last 16 games in the series.

Vancouver hasn’t looked great on the ice but they may not have to be great against a reeling Wild team. If we have learned one thing about the Canucks in the last couple of weeks it is that they just win, ugly or not.

I expect the pattern to continue Thursday – an ugly win but two points nonetheless!

Pick: Vancouver Canucks -144

Here are some interesting Player Props for Thursday’s game:

Will be posted first thing in the AM.

(Click To Bet Now At Bodog ( If Your In USA))

© Dave B for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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