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NHL Free Pick: Canucks vs. Kings Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview

NHL: Vancouver vs Los Angeles Pick

The West Coast match up of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night features a match up between the Vancouver Canucks (10-4-0) and the Los Angeles Kings (7-4-3) at the Staples Centre. Cappers Picks will provide free NHL picks all season so check back in often.

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Vancouver vs. Los Angeles
When:Saturday, Nov 8 2014 at 10:00 pm ET
Where: Staples Centre
TV: CBC
NHL ATS Gambling Line: Kings -1.5
NHL O/U Line: 5
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Pacific Division opponents will meet up in LA on Saturday night as the surprising Canucks visit last year’s Stanley Cup champs, the Los Angeles Kings.

Vancouver has ridden a resurgence by the Sedin twins to 10 wins in their first 14 games and they sit in second place in one of the toughest divisions in hockey. The Kings meanwhile have been scuffling, following up a six game win streak early on with five losses in their last six outings.

Time zone changes and travel won’t be factors in this one for either team as they both spend the majority of their season in the Pacific Time Zone and the Canucks have been in California for the last few days, following their win over the Sharks on Thursday.

Let’s have a closer look at how these two teams will match up.

Canucks

Vancouver has been one of the early surprise teams in the NHL this year. After a dismal 2013-14 campaign the Canucks parted ways with coach John Tortorella and they are flourishing early on.

The Sedin twins Daniel and Henrik at 34 years of age are having a stellar start to the season with 14 and 15 points respectively and goaltender Ryan Miller, also 34, has been back in top form with a record of 10-1 in 11 starts to go along with a 2.19 GAA and .920 SV%.

The big question with this team will be, “can the old guys keep going at this clip?” Sure it’s nice now, early in the season when the legs are still fresh and bumps and bruises and travel haven’t accumulated, but can this team sustain their play over 82 games when three guys with a combined age of over 100 are the ones leading the charge?

That’s a question that will have to be answered at a later date, but for now the team seems to be in good form and are hanging around with the top dogs in the West.

Kings

The Stanley Cup champs from a year ago started out their season a bit sluggishly. They dropped their opener in ugly fashion to the Sharks and were upset by the Coyotes in their second game. In champion form, the Kings found their game and ran off six straight wins to get to 6-2 and were looking nearly unstoppable, outscoring opponents 20-5 in that stretch.

Things have turned since then and the Kings have managed just one win in their last six games, though five of those games were played away from home and four against Eastern Conference teams.

LA’s “70’s line” of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson has slowed down significantly of late and that’s been a big reason for the Kings’ slide. During their win streak that line was a force and was racking up goals on a nightly basis; Carter is -2 with zero points his last six games, NHL Rookie of the Month for October Pearson has also been held pointless and Toffoli has two points over the same six game stretch. Pearson has since been shuffled off the line in a move by coach Darryl Sutter to inject some life into an offense that has been struggling to score.

Canucks vs. Kings 4* Free Pick

The Kings are just too good of a team to stay mired in this slump for too long. They dropped their first game home back after a lengthy road trip, but they should have their legs back under them for Saturday night. The Canucks have been impressive but the Kings just out and out have had their number in recent history with four wins in their last five meetings, and haven’t lost to the Canucks in LA since March of 2013.

I don’t really like the spread of 1.5 for LA as this seems like it should be an all out goalie duel with former team USA teammates Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller squaring off so I don’t see this game being a blowout for either team, but I do like the Kings on the money line paying -132.



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About Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.


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