Arizona Coyotes (24-48-8) at Vancouver Canucks (46-29-5)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 9, 2015, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -303 / Arizona Coyotes +267 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Canucks look to wrap up second spot in the Pacific division with a home ice win against the lowly Coyotes on Thursday night.
The Arizona Coyotes have just two games left in their dismal 2014-15 season but they'll have to endure another wrenching six periods as they face off against the playoff bound Canucks on Thursday before finishing their season against the Ducks on Saturday. Arizona was expected to compete for a wild card spot this season but instead they are in the running for the league's worst record which they can still attain if the Sabres win their final two contests and that would set them up for selecting the top overall pick in the NHL draft. Arizona needs an overhaul and will get it in the form of Max Domi next season but they'll need more than him to turn things around and getting either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel will go a long way in doing so. As for tonight, Mike Smith will get the call as he goes up against Eddie Lack.
The Canucks have quietly pieced together a strong season and one that new head coach Willie Desjardins should be recognized for but it is tough to see whether they will be competitive in the Western Conference playoffs with or without Ryan Miller. The Canucks have looked like Cup contenders on some nights and a junior team on others and that inconsistency has been their story all season as they haven't been able to separate from the pack, though on the same note they have never really been in any trouble of missing the postseason. As for tonight, they are big time favourites against the Coyotes and rightfully so but if there is any value here it is on the total as Arizona has no offensive fire power and I expect the Canucks will want to curtail their defensive game heading into the playoffs.