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Vancouver Canucks vs. Phoenix Coyotes NHL Picks | Preview

2011 NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Canucks vs Coyotes

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Vancouver Canucks (42-16-9) at Phoenix Coyotes (34-23-10)
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 9:00 PM ET
Venue: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Broadcast: SNET-P (HD), FS-A PLUS (HD)
Canucks vs. Coyotes Betting Lines from Bodog.com
Spread: OFF
Moneyline: Vancouver -130: Phoenix +110
Over/Under: 5.5 goals

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Two Western Conference teams that have been up and down in the last couple of weeks do battle on Tuesday night. The difference between the two is that the Canucks did enough through the first half of the season to allow themselves a hiccup while the Coyotes have been a bubble team all year long and have put themselves into a position in which less than stellar play could result in them watching the playoffs from home.

The Canucks after alternating wins and losses for 12 games have snapped out of their inconsistent play and have recorded two straight road wins against two of the teams that the Coyotes are fighting with in the Western Conference. The offense has slowed for the Canucks but the defense has picked up their play and has served notice they are possibly the most complete team in the NHL.

The Sedins have been just OK recently, Ryan Kesler and Mayson Raymond are pointless is their last three games and Alex Burrows has just one point in his last seven. Thank goodness for secondary scoring. Jannik Hansen and Manny Malhotra each have three points in their last two games and Raffi Torres has woken up with two points in his last two games. Vancouver is deep and plain scary.

Vancouver is second in the NHL in goals against – their defense is top notch! In their last two wins on the road, they have given up just one goal combined. Corey Schneider is coming off of his first career shutout but it is Roberto Luongo will start on Tuesday. Lou is just 3-5-0 in his last eight starts with an impressive 2.12 goals against average. In his last three, he is 2-1-0 with a 1.31 goals against average.  

The Phoenix Coyotes are as schizophrenic teams in the NHL right now. After winning eight straight, the Coyotes lost five straight before their impressive come from behind win over the Red Wings. Phoenix is in a serious battle and need to right the ship immediately or risk falling right out of the playoffs.

Offensively, the Coyotes have not been where it needs to be. Before Sunday’s win over the Wings, Phoenix had gone eight straight games without scoring more than three goals. Ray Whitney has been good and Shane Doan has picked up his play but unlike the Canucks, the Coyotes have suffered from a lack of secondary scoring.

Goaltending and defense has also been poor lately. Ilya Bryzgalov is 1-2-1 in his last four with a goals against approaching 4.00.

Betting Prediction: Vancouver appears to have gotten over their doldrums and appear focused again. They are 15-6 in their last 21 games on the road and are 19-9-2 in their last 30 games against Phoenix. Look for Vancouver to keep the role going and to keep the Coyotes in a fight for their playoff lives.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks -130

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