The Vancouver Canucks are getting set to hit the ice after their one week hiatus. Vancouver will begin game their three game home stand Tuesday night at Rogers Arena when they host the Arizona Coyotes.
The Canucks are coming off a 4-2 defeat to the Nashville Predators back on February 1st, the team’s last game before the break.
At 20-20-6, Vancouver sits 7th in the Pacific Division and are six points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. Given the games played disparity across the NHL, the six point difference is not representative of the gap the Canucks actually have between themselves and the postseason. With 36 games left in the season, the team needs around 25 wins to give themselves a shot at playing playoff hockey for the first time since the NHL bubble.
On Monday afternoon it was announced that defencemen Quinn Hughes was added to the COVID-19 protocols. The loss of Hughes is massive moving forward, hopefully he can return to the team in a short period of time. In the mean time, look for other Canucks defencemen to take on higher minutes in the absence of their best defender.
Vancouver’s opponents on Tuesday night, the Arizona Coyotes, are dwellers in the basement of the NHL’s standings. Arizona currently sits last in the Central Division with a record of 11-30-4. Only the Montreal Canadiens are worse off in the standings than the Coyotes. Arizona’s last game came on February 2nd against the Calgary Flames in which they were defeated by a score of 4-2.
Arizona is coached by first year bench boss André Tourigny and is led on the ice by talents including the likes of Clayton Keller, Phil Kessel and Lawson Crouse.
As expected by a poor team, the Coyotes rank at or near the bottom in most major statistical categories. Arizona averages the worst goals per game in the NHL at 2.13 goals/game and are tied for 30th in goals allowed per game at 3.67 goals/game. With a 12.6% efficiency rate on the power play, the Coyotes rank 32nd in the league on the man advantage. Their 73% penalty kill efficiency is only better than the Canucks 69.9% rate.
Both starting goaltenders should be between the pipes at Rogers Arena, so expect to see Thatcher Demko and Karel Vejmelka at either ends of the rink.
The odds for this game are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Over 5.5 goals at +100
Under 5.5 goals at -120
Canucks -1.5 at -105
Coyotes +1.5 at -115
Even without Hughes, the Canucks should be able to win this game with relative comfort. Arizona, as outlined above, are one of if not the worst team in NHL. Considering they’re likely more comfortable with losing and gaining a better shot at the first overall pick at this point in this season, a desperate team like Vancouver should be able to come out and take control of the game easily.
As a result of Arizona’s poor special teams play, the Canucks must exploit their deficiencies early and often in Tuesday’s game and bury the Coyotes quickly. Letting them hang around could lead to a nervy ending, especially when going against a team who aren’t playing for anything.
There’s not much insight to be put into this game, if the Canucks can’t walk away Tuesday night without two points, then you can kiss their season goodnight. In a must win game against a terrible team, I expect Vancouver to get the job done and move on to more difficult challenges.
The Canucks cover the puckline with comfort.
Pick: Canucks -1.5 at -105
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Coyotes? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!