NHL Hockey Betting: Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Western Conference action on Friday night as the Anaheim Ducks ‘fly north’ to take on the Vancouver Canucks. The Ducks are in third place in a wide open Pacific Division with 43 points leaving them one point behind the second place Edmonton Oilers and two points back of the first place San Jose Sharks. The Ducks are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games but are just 8-8-5 on the road this season. Vancouver is something of a mess. At least they’re not as bad as Arizona. They’ve actually played reasonably competent hockey at home with a record of 11-6-2 and have won 5 of their last 12 games.

The Canucks will start Ryan Miller in net who has been alternately injured and erratic for most of the year. Miller has a 8-10-1 record with a 2.86 goals against average and a 0.908 save percentage. Miller has split time with Jakob Markstrom this year but neither have been especially effective. Anaheim will start former Toronto Maple Leafs’ netminder Jonathan Bernier. Bernier has a solid record of 6-3-1 but the rest of his numberw aren’t much to write home about with a 3.07 goals against average and a 0.897 save percentage.

The Ducks are a tough out even when they lose. They’ve got 7 OT losses on the season and while they no doubt would have rather had those be wins they at least salvaged a point. The head to head matchup is somewhat strange–the Ducks have won 4 of 6 at Vancouver but hold just a 7-5 edge overall. The Ducks have won both matchups this year one at home and one on the road. The Ducks have had a hard time dealing with success this year. They’re 2-7 after a win by 2 or more goals. They have a big home game against Philadelphia on deck for New Years’ Day but its unlikely that Vancouver will provide enough of a test to make that a factor. The Ducks are the Canucks worst possible matchup–a grinding, physical team with enough skill to force Vancouver to score goals. Those goals will be hard to come by here. Until Vancouver starts to show more consistency in just about every phase of the game they’ll be a ‘go against’ when facing teams of Anaheim’s skill level.


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