NHL Hockey Betting: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators

NHL Hockey Betting:  Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Vancouver Canucks are having a nightmarish season and are trying to avoid the ignominious fate of finishing in last place in the Western Conference. They currently hold a one point lead over the Edmonton Oilers and are tied with the Winnipeg Jets for that dubious distinction but they are playing worse hockey than anyone in the NHL at the moment. The Canucks have lost five straight and are 3-7-0 in their last ten games. They’re coming off a 2-0 loss to the aforementioned Vancouver Canucks. There might be worse places for a team in this kind of funk to end up but the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville is pretty bad.

The Nashville Predators have started to play the kind of hockey they’re capable of after an erratic start to the season. They’re still a frustrating team, capable of looking very ordinary at times but also capable of a performance like they put up in their last game–the Predators eviscerated legit Stanley Cup contender Los Angeles making all world goalie Jonathan Quick look like an AHL retread in the process. It was vintage Nashville hockey–physical play, puck control, suffocating defense, great play in net from Pekka Rinne and most of all hustle. When Nashville is playing at their best they contest every thing–every bounce, every loose puck has two or three Predators swarming toward the play.

One concern about the Predators here–they haven’t dealt with success very well this season. After a win by 2 or more goals this year they’re 7-14. Then again, not sure if Vancouver is good enough to capitalize. The Canucks are 10-23 this season against opponents with winning records. Possible ‘letdown’ spot for Nashville but they’ve done a decent job maintaining momentum from game to game in the second half of the season. They’ve got some big games coming up next week–Colorado at home, at Dallas, at Pittsburgh, San Jose at home–but they’ve got nothing this weekend other than a home game against Columbus so it doesn’t look like a spot where the team will be distracted. Ryan Miller will start in net for the Canucks against (most likely) Pekka Rinne. If Nashville plays anywhere close to their potential Vancouver can’t do anything to stop them.


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