Carolina Hurricanes (17-26-7) at Arizona Coyotes (19-26-6)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 5, 2015, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Arizona Coyotes -130 / Carolina Hurricanes +118 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Coyotes look to claim their third straight victory with a win at home against the Hurricanes on Thursday while the visitors look for their sixth win in 10 contests.
The Carolina Hurricanes have had a tough go this season and there is no question they will be selecting within the top five in the draft this July but things appear to be getting worse as they have made Jeff Skinner, the potential face of the franchise moving forward, a healthy scratch in tonight's game against the Coyotes. The move could be a scare tactic to try and get Skinner going as he has been disappointing to say the least from an offensive perspective this season or it could very well be that Skinner has been a detriment to the team this season and for a group that has struggled mightily it could be a shift in a negative direction as their future corner stone hobbles along and could very well even garner some trade attention. The Canes will look to Anton Khudobin in this one as he will go up against Mike Smith in a battle of league doormats in Glendale.
The Coyotes have had a difficult season as well but unlike their counterparts this evening Arizona was expected to do well and perhaps challenge for a playoff spot instead of a top draft pick which makes things that much more frustrating for this team moving forward. However, with a number of pieces on the trading block and some young pieces coming up including Max Domi it could be a blessing in disguise that the Coyotes mailed it in this season as they could very well land another piece that can come in and make an immediate impact and propel them back into relevance much sooner than expected depending on what they do at the trade deadline. One thing the Coyotes absolute cannot do it move Oliver Ekman-Larsson as he is one of the best young defensemen in hockey and while he would yield a significant return I don't think you can pass up on a talent like him and it'd be foolish for management to part ways with him. As for tonight's game the Coyotes are in full check at the moment, get a backup goaltender on home ice and have one of Carolina's best player watching from the press box? Easy money in my eyes.