Vancouver Canucks (20-10-5) at Minnesota Wild (19-11-5)
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 17, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -110 / Vancouver Canucks +100 --- Over/Under: 5
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It seems kind of ironic that the Vancouve Canucks' current seven game winning streak came immediately after they embarrased their current coach against his former team. Ever since the Canucks were beaten by the New York Rangers on November 30th, they've reeled off seven straight wins and are playing the best hockey in the league. This is the type of hockey that you think about when you consider the potential that a John Tortorella team could have. Vancouver is defending but they're also using their skill and capitalizing on their chances during this current streak and it's making them a very dangerous team to play against. Tortorella must be laughing in the film room when he sees the amount of skill he's inherited on this Vancouver club and for this season and at least next his rough demeanor should be a positive for this club. Everyone understands that Tortorella's act wears thin and it ultimately will in Vancouver as well, but for right now he's exactly what this vanilla hockey club needed. The Canucks absolutely beat up the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, scoring five straight goals to erase a 1-0 deficit. David Booth, Chris Higgins, Yannick Weber, Henrik Sedin, and Christopher Tanev all scored for the Canucks in the 6-2 rout. Roberto Luongo made 38 saves in the victory. The Minnesota Wild snapped their two game losing streak with a victory over the Colorado Avalanche, but they're still having a lot of problems scoring goals. Minnesota has scored just five goals in the last five games and they'll need to do better than that if they have any chance of slowing down the Canucks in this one. Nino Niederreiter scored his sixth goal of the season in the third period to tie the game late for the Wild who would eventually win it on goals by Zach Parise an Mikko Koivu in the shootout. The Wild are looking a lot like Minnesota teams we've seen in the past so there's no reason to expect them to keep their solid play going through the rest of this season. The Wild just don't have enough play makers and offensive skill to compete long term in the Western Conference and even if they had a great season and made the playoffs they would almost certainly be a quick out. They get the Canucks at home on Tuesday night but with the way Vancouver is playing of late it might not be enough.