Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/27/12
Division Leaders Clash Tuesday Night!

The Vancouver Canucks play their final game of a six game road trip on Tuesday night against the hottest team in the NHL – the Phoenix Coyotes. It is a battle of Division leaders – Vancouver leads the Northwest Division by a mile whole the Coyotes currently sit in first place in the tight Pacific.

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Vancouver Canucks (40-16-7) at Phoenix Coyotes (32-21-9)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Where: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Broadcast: SNET-P (HD), FS-A (HD)
Canucks vs. Coyotes Betting Lines from Bodog
Spread: Canucks -1 ½ (+235)
Moneyline: Canucks -115: Coyotes +104
Over/Under: 5 goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*

Vancouver has been beaten only once in regulation in their last 10 games while Phoenix has gone a very impressive 9-0-1 in their last 10 heading into Tuesday’s showdown.

The Vancouver Canucks have played some tough teams during their road trip and hope to wrap it up Tuesday with a 4-1-1 record. Standing in their way is the best team in the NHL over the past couple of weeks.

Things certainly don’t get easier for the Canucks – Phoenix is playing their best hockey of the season in both ends of the rink.

The Canucks enter Tuesday’s matchup off an overtime loss in Dallas in a game that they actually played well. New acquisitions Sammy Paulsson, Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani will likely make their Canucks debut as part of a new-look, grittier Vancouver squad.

The Canucks have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games overall – let’s hope that the new additions don’t slow the momentum that the team has built up as of late.

The Canucks are still tops in the league in goals for despite Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin being held off the score sheet in two of their last three games.

Logic suggests that the twins will bounce back from an uncharacteristically poor performance on Tuesday night. But if they don’t the secondary scoring should be able to pick up the slack. Mason Raymond and Chris Higgins each have two points in their last two games while Ryan Kesler has 12 points in 16 games.

David Booth has struggled on the road trip with just one point in five games, Jannik Hansen is pointless in four and Manny Malhotra has been held off the score sheet in his last three games.

The Canucks are likely to start Roberto Luongoon Tuesday – he has been spectacular! Lou is 14-5-5 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in his last 24 games.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Phoenix Coyotes Betting Lines & Handicapping

The Phoenix Coyotes have climbed into a playoff position and have not been beaten in regulation in their last 10 games – amazing! They are middle of the pack in goals for but are seventh in goals against so far this year.

The Coyotes have been led offensively this season by Radim Vrbata who has 30 goals this season – two more than Canucks goal scoring leader Daniel Sedin! He has four points in three games while Ray Whitney has been on fire with two goals and four assists during a five game points scoring streak. Marin Hanzal has been good lately too and has five points in his last three games.

Make no mistake about it – Phoenix’s success has been due to the play of goaltender Mike Smith who has not lost in his last 10 starts. During that span, he has two shutouts and has allowed just one goal five times.

In Smith’s last 10 games, he has a staggering .947 save percentage. Vancouver has their hands full on Tuesday, that’s for sure!

Betting Prediction: Vancouver’s grueling road trip is almost at an end – no game has been easy along the way. Expect Tuesday’s encounter to be much of the same.

The Coyotes stood pat at the Trade Deadline meaning that they will ice the same team as they have all season.

Vancouver on the other hand will likely have three new faces in the lineup. Chemistry is a funny thing – it doesn’t happen overnight.

Expect a bump in the road for the Canucks against the league’s hottest team.

One good thing – Vancouver will fly home after the game to play at the friendly confines of Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Pick: Take the minor upset Tuesday. Phoenix Coyotes +104

Here are a few interesting Player Props for Tuesday’s game:

Dan Hamhuis Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.80) | Under (1.45)

Shane Doan Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)

Henrik Sedin Shots on Goal
Line = 1.5 Over (1.45) | Under (1.80)

Daniel Sedin Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)

Ryan Kesler Shots on Goal
Line = 3.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)

Alex Burrows Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (2.00) | Under (1.35)

Alexander Edler Shots on Goal
Line = 2.5 Over (1.40) | Under (1.85)

Sami Salo Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.80) | Under (1.45)

Phoenix Shots on Goal
Line = 29.5 Over (1.60) | Under (1.60)

Phoenix Power Play Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.85) | Under (1.40)

Chris Higgins Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)

Game Links

Game 64 Canucks vs. Coyotes: This Roller Coaster Is Coming to a Halt
- NWSB Vancouver Canucks insider Josh Hall takes a look at what the Nuckies have to do to win in hockey starved Glendale, Arizona, We’re just kidding about the hockey starved part. Can Henrik Sedin keep his team focused coming off the huge Cody Hodgson trade?

Managing Editor “Q’s” Game Notes + Preview

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

© Dave B for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | One comment |

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