Vancouver Canucks vs. Phoenix Coyotes - 1/26/14
Phoenix Coyotes (24-18-9) at Vancouver Canucks (26-17-9)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Rogers Arena)
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -152 / Phoenix Coyotes +138 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FS-A PLUS, SNET-P
Pacific Division rivals collide once again on Sunday as the Vancouver Canucks host the Phoenix Coyotes at Rogers Arena.
Phoenix is just one spot behind Vancouver in the Western Conference standings. One spot may not seem significant unless you consider that the spot in question is the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Coyotes trail the Canucks by four points with a game in hand, so to say this game is important to both teams would be an understatement.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix concludes a road trip with a visit to Vancouver, and the Yotes would love nothing more than to make it a winning trip. Phoenix dropped the first game of the trip to Calgary, but bounced back in a 4-3 win at Edmonton on Friday. Members of the Phoenix coaching staff as well as the players have publically expressed how important the games between now and the Olympic break will be for the club, so I have no doubt we will see a focused Phoenix team.
Since allowing nine goals to the Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver is only giving up 1.5 goals per game on average. However, the Canucks offense hasn’t blossomed at all, and the absence of Henrik Sedin has certainly not helped the cause. Roberto Luongo has been masterful since his return, winning two of three starts and allowing just 1.6 GAA.
Sunday’s game will be the fourth time this season the Canucks and Coyotes have squared off. The Coyotes have won two of the first three games, but each game has been won by the home team and been hotly contested. In the most recent match, just ten days ago, Phoenix shut Vancouver down in a 1-0 win at Jobing.com Arena. The home team in the series is 4-0 in the last four meetings, and the Coyotes are 2-5 in the last six road games overall. However, I think the best play in this game is on the total.
The under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between these two, 10-2 in the last 12 meetings in Vancouver between the Coyotes and Canucks, and 3-0-1 in the Canucks last four games overall. Vancouver’s lack of offense coupled with the team’s defensive strength sets up perfectly for a play on the under. These two teams know each other well, each needs this game, and I think we see low-scoring close game.