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2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Kings vs. Canucks

NHL Playoff Betting: Kings vs Canucks Series Preview & Pick

Stanley Cup Betting fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com. Stick with us for the entire 2010 NHL Stanley cup playoff run.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR HOCKEY HANDICAPPING PLAYS FOR THIS YEARS PLAYOFF ACTION —–>

  • GAME 1: @Vancouver, Thu. 4/15, 10 p.m.
  • GAME 2: @Vancouver, Sat. 4/17, 10 p.m.
  • GAME 3: @Los Angeles, Mon. 4/19, 10 p.m.
  • GAME 4: @Los Angeles, Wed. 4/21, 10 p.m.
  • GAME 5*: @Vancouver, Fri. 4/23, 10 p.m.
  • GAME 6*: @Los Angeles, Sun. 4/25, TBD
  • GAME 7*: @Vancouver, Tue. 4/27, TBD

Kings vs Canucks Odds To Win 7 Game Series:

Kings +190, Canucks -230

If you’re searching for the best entertainment value in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs – maybe your team didn’t make the big dance? – look no further than the Kings and Canucks. These two talented, young squads play up-tempo games and should treat us to the most exciting conference quarter-final series of all.

(6) LOS ANGELES KINGS vs (3) VANCOUVER CANUCKS

If you’ve read any of my other NHL coverage this season, you’ll know I’ve pegged the Canucks again and again as “built for the playoffs.” I truly believe that – enough to wonder if they can go all the way this season.

Breaking down the ingredients, I see many if not all the pieces needed to win a Cup. Vancouver has two truly effective scoring lines. Henrik Sedin’s chemistry with brother Daniel and Alex Burrows exploded to the point that he wound up winning the league scoring title, recording more than an assist per game. Though the Sedins have been criticized in the past for not performing in crunch time, they’ve filled out a bit size-wise and their heady play, built largely on cycling, should give the Kings major headaches. Second-line center Ryan Kesler, who plays with Mason Raymond and (usually) Mikael Samuelsson on one of the league’s fastest lines, has the makeup of a playoff juggernaut. He has tremendous size, blazing speed and plays a physical, two-way game.

In goal, Vancouver has a Stanley Cup-caliber player in theory. Roberto Luongo has amazing talent and earned his big-game stripes with an Olympic gold medal in February but struggled mightily down the stretch. Can he put it together in the playoffs? He has a well-rounded, fleet-footed blueline supporting him, led by Alex Edler and Christian Ehrhoff.

Now that I’m done tooting the Canucks’ horn, however, let’s be clear. The only thing stopping the Kings from a deep playoff run is a lack of experience, as they’re making their first playoff appearance since 2002. Otherwise, they’d be a formidable challenger, as they’re one of hockey’s most complete teams. Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

The Canucks throw a deadly attack at L.A., yes, but the Kings have a tough, talented, physical blueline. Drew Doughty is emerging as the next great superstar, often compared to Ray Bourque because of his ability to combine physicality with amazing offensive instincts. Jack Johnson skates well and has a major chip on his shoulder. Even the Rob Scuderis and Sean O’Donnells of the world bring Stanley Cup rings to the table.

Up front, the Kings are also skilled and big. Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov provide the finesse; Ryan Smyth, Dustin Brown, Jarret Stoll, Wayne Simmonds and Justin Williams all forecheck aggressively but can also put the puck in the net.

Even goaltending turned out better than expected – much better – for L.A. this season. Jonathan Quick sagged down the stretch but still had a strong season as the starter, setting a franchise record for victories with 39.

Looking at this matchup, it certainly seems like the powerhouse Canucks will have their hands full with the Kings. I see L.A. as similar to Chicago a year ago, loaded up with talent through drafting and smart trading and ready to take a leap forward. But the Kings’ youngsters may still be a bit shell-shocked with inexperience – particularly Quick. I thus see Vancouver being better prepared to make a deep run this season.

The Canucks will emerge – but not without going to war. A year from now, though, the Kings should be a real force.

Prediction: Canucks in six.

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