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St. Louis Blues vs. Vancouver Canucks Picks & NHL Preview

Blues vs Canucks NHL Line & Handicapping

Canucks Look to Snap Seven Game Slide – Host Blues Wednesday Night

Its back to reality for the NHL starts as the Regular Season swings back into action this week. The Vancouver Canucks, losers of seven straight games before the Olympic break begin their stretch drive Wednesday when they play host to the St. Louis Blues who won six of eight games before the two week hiatus.

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St. Louis (39-12-3-3) at Vancouver (27-24-3-6)
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: FS-MW, SNET-P
Blues vs. Canucks Betting Lines from betonline.com
St. Louis +128 / OU 5 (-120)

Matchup | *Insiders* Preview

Vancouver will be looking for the three game season sweep on Wednesday but will be in tough against one of the most consistently good teams in the NHL so far this season.

The St. Louis Blues were on a roll before the Olympic break but now need to refocus aqnd hope that the seven players they sent to Sochi can at least resemble rested teammates. St. Louis averaged four goals in their four games prior to the two week break – something they will hope to contine starting Wednesday night. The team as a whole are averaging 3.32 goals per game this year – in the top tier of NHL teams thus far.

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Jaden Schwartz had five points in three games, Vladimir Terasenko, TJ Oshie and Brenden Morrow each had three points in three games while Canadian Olympian Alex Pietrangelo had four points in four game prior to heading to Sochi.Hopes are that a few of their stars can find their groove as we get back to action – Alex Steenm had just one assist in five games prior to the break, Christ Stewart was pointless in three games and Kevin Shattenkirk didn’t hit the score sheet in six games.

Jaroslav Halak will likely be St. Louis’s starting keeper Wednesday although he is coming off a miserable Olympic experience in which he recorded a 5.13 GAA for Slovakia. The good news is that he registered a 1.94 GAA in hgis four starts prior to heading to Sochi.

The hits just keep coming for the Vancouver Canucks. Injuries have really put this team behind the eight-ball – a seven game losing streak and a run of 16 losses in their last 20 games is proof. Henrik Sedin should be back in the lineup as should Kevin Bieksa but word out of Vancouver is that Ryan Kesler could be forced to sit after injuring his hand blocking a shot against Russia at the Olympics. He would join Christopher Tanev (hand), Andrew Alberts (concussion) as well as center Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Alexandre Burrows (hand) and defenseman Yannick Weber (undisclosed) in the press box Wednesday – not a good sign for the battered Canucks.
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Vancouver simply isn’t scoring any goals – Henrik Sedin was pointless in six games before his injury, Dan Hamhuis is pointless in five games, David Booth pointless in six, Jannik HJansin hasn’t registered a point in seven games and Daniel Sedin hasn’t hit the score sheet in nine games – YUK!

Alex Edler, Chris Higgins and Rafael Diaz each have two points in their last tow games and represent the hottest Canucks offensively.

Roberto Luongo should be between the pipes Wednesday – he was largely a spectator at the Olympics as he took a backseat to Carey Price. Lou was OK before the break but suffered fropm a serious lack of offensive support from his team.

Dave’s FREE NHL Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
STL are 6-15 in their last 21 vs. Pacific.
STL are 7-3 in their last 10 road games.
STL are 39-18 in their last 57 overall.
VAN are 5-16 in their last 21 overall.
Under is 18-7-1 in VAN last 26 vs. Central.
Under is 25-10-5 in VAN last 40 home games.
Under is 23-9-6 in the last 38 meetings.

Canucks have gone 5-0-2 in their last seven against St. Louis – hard to believe. But with the quality of players that will be watching from the press box Wednesday it is hard to imagine the Canucks getting it done. Vancouver’s free fall continues and John Tortarella’s press conferences become more entertaining!

Pick: St. Louis Blues

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