Anaheim Ducks (31-10-6) at Vancouver Canucks (26-16-3)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 27, 2015, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -105 / Anaheim Ducks -105 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
A return to action on Tuesday night gives us a huge showdown in the Pacific Division between the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks. Vancouver currently occupies a playoff position and sit in third place in the division standings, 13 points behind first place Anaheim. It has been a much better season for the Canucks this year after their one year John Tortorella experience, but Vancouver still needs to hit one of those lengthy hot stretches to feel more comfortable about their playoff hopes. The Canucks have been a bit up and down of late, going just 5-5-0 over their last 10 games, but with six straight home games coming up out of the break it’s time for them to pick up some ground. One of the strange moves that Vancouver made in the off season was brining in Ryan Miller after trading off goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Miller has paid big dividends however, posting a 23-10-1 record to go along with a 2.30 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. The interesting question for the Canucks will be just how much they play Miller down the stretch. Backup goaltender Eddie Lack has struggled in his 14 games and the Canucks can’t afford a losing streak in the difficult Western Conference. With Miller in goal the Canucks have the ability to beat anyone in the league, so expect to see him between the pipes for the majority of Vancouver’s games to end the season.
For the Anaheim Ducks it’s going to be whether or not they can continue the spectacular play they showed us in the first half of the year. The Ducks lead the National Hockey League in points with 68 and they’ve been dominant for much of the year. Frederik Andersen was a question mark heading into the season but has played sensational behind a Ducks club that really makes life easy on him on most nights. What has been surprising is how the Ducks have played so well despite their lackluster individual point totals. Ryan Getzlaf leads the club with 50 points, but nobody else on the team has more than 31. Where the Ducks have really made things count is in one goal games where the team is virtually unbeatable this season. That’s something that should lead to success come the post season since this team seems to know how to play when things get tight, but it could also lead to some more losses in the second half than we saw early on because the odds of that kind of dominance keeping up in those situations isn’t great. Look for the Ducks to add some help on the blue line before the trade deadline as well because while this group of defenders has found a way to get the job done so far they still leave a lot to be desired.
This game is listed as a toss up coming in and it should be a good one on Tuesday night. Both these teams can play a strong defensive game but with the total set at five I’d expect these clubs to find a way to go over the total in this one.