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Monday January 2nd NHL Free Predictions | NHL Parlay Odds

San Jose Sharks (19-11-4) at Vancouver Canucks (24-13-2)

The Vancouver Canucks will be aiming for their second win in less than a week over their southern rival San Jose Sharks when the two teams tangle on Monday night in Vancouver.

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When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, January 2, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: VERSUS (HD), SNET-P (HD)
Sharks vs. Canucks Betting Lines from betonline.com
Spread: Canucks -1.5 (+190)
Moneyline: Sharks +138: Canucks -158
Over/Under: 5.5 goals

The Sharks haven’t played since that Wednesday overtime defeat to the Canucks while Vancouver played New Year’s Eve and delivered a complete Dud in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

The Sharks are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games – OK but far from the elite numbers that most expect from the Pacific Division juggernaut. Health, particularly on the defensive corp. and weak Special teams, particularly the Penalty Kill has plagued the Sharks all season long. But with Douglas Murray back in the lineup, the PK should improve – defensemen Jim Vandermeer and Colin White along with Martin Havlat will miss Monday’s game.

Offensively the Sharks have not exactly been lighting the world on fire – the leading point man on the Sharks is Joe Thornton who has 30 – 16 behind Vancouver’s leader Henrik Sedin. However Joe Pavelski has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last eight e games, while Logan Couture is averaging a point per game over his last seven matches (4 goals, 3 assists) – not great but not terrible either.

Antti Niemi will likely get the start in goal on Monday night despite a 2-5-2 with a 3.19 goals-against average in his career versus Vancouver. Niemi played well on Wednesday night against Vancouver and should be more than ready to go after five days off. He is 15-7-4, 2.36 GAA., .916 SV% on the season.

The Vancouver Canucks were due for a down game and they got it on New Year’s Eve against Los Angeles – a lackluster 4-1 loss to the Kings. Now, back at home, Vancouver will be looking to kick off 2012 in style. Vancouver is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games overall including a 2-1-0 road trip.

Vancouver has fought hard this season to reach the pinnacle of the NHL standings and now that they are there, it will be difficult to knock them off their perch. Offensively they are firing on all cylinders and defensively they are one of the most complete units in the NHL. But the bread and butter Power Play has fallen on hard times latterly – just 1-for-15 in their last 16 attempts. They still lead the league however in that department.

Henrik Sedin has moved past Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux for the NHL lead with 46 points. He, his brother Daniel and line mate Alex Burrows are on a tear at the moment, making the Canucks a Top 3 NHL offense once again. Vancouver rolls four lines effectively making them very difficult to slow down each and every night.

Defensively, Vancouver has benefitted from uber-solid goaltending. Roberto Luongo has been sensational (minus his effort in Los Angeles) and has posted a 5-2-0 record in his last seven starts with a 2.27 goals against average.

Betting Prediction: The Vancouver Canucks have absolutely owned the San Jose Sharks in recent meetings – San Jose has lost four in a row and eight of their last 10 to the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver is the Sharks kryptonite! San Jose owns the NHL’s third-worst penalty kill with a 75.2 percent conversion rate and I think that will be the difference against Vancouver’s vaunted power play. Take the home team and the marginal pay day.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks -158

Edmonton Oilers (15-19-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (24-10-4)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Monday, January 2, 2012
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: SNET-W,CSN-CH
Spread: Blackhawks -1.5 (+125)
Moneyline: Oilers +195: Blackhawks -215
Over/Under: 5.5 goals

The struggling Edmonton Oilers head to Chicago on Monday night in hopes of winning their first game on a seven game road trip after dropping their first three. Standing in their way is the Chicago Blackhawks who sit atop of the Western Conference standings and have shown no signs of slowing down. [ad-4437448]

The Edmonton Oilers’ strong start is a thing of the past. Nothing seems to be going right for the team that is 7-17-1 in their last 25 games. They have lost seven straight games on the road and overall, they have won just two of their last 11 matches. The electric offense has dulled and the superb goaltending that the Oilers benefitted from early in the season has disappeared.

The “kid line” in Edmonton has slowed as the winter has grown colder – the power play and the goals per game have suffered because of it. However, Jordan Eberle continues to light up the league. He has a point in six of his last seven games (a streak was snapped in his last game) and he sits just outside the Top 10 in NHL scoring with 39 assists. He is by far the hottest Oiler.

The Chicago Blackhawks wish that December never ended. The team went 10-2-1 in December to sit on top of the Western Conference standings – two points up on hated rivals Vancouver. The Hawks have been especially good at home lately – 7-1-1 in their last nine.

When talking about the Blackhawks offense it is usually names like Toews or Kane that dominate the headlines. While they are playing well, it has been Marion Hossa that has been scorching. He has eight goals and nine assists over his last 10 games. Hossa and the second line for Chicago are outplaying the first line, giving Chicago two solid and potent offensive units.

Goaltending and defense continue to be overshadowed by the Chicago offense but names like Seabrook and Keith still loom in what is one of the best defensive corps. in the NHL. Ray Emery and Corey Crawford have been solid between the pipes for the Hawks.

Betting Prediction: The Blackhawks have won 10 of the last 14 games in the all-time series. Needless to say, they should have an easy time with the Oilers on Monday night. If Edmonton was playing well, I would give them a chance but as demonstrated by their 4-1 loss to the Islanders in their last game, Edmonton is cold as ice right now. The Hawks are an elite team and will prove it Monday!

Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -215

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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