Philadelphia Flyers (18-16-4) at Vancouver Canucks (22-11-6)
|Date & Time||Monday December 30, 2013, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -142 / Philadelphia Flyers +129 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Flyers look to finish off their Western Canada road swing with a win in Vancouver while the Canucks seek their second win in as many nights.
Philadelphia has been a disappointment for the better part of a season and a half as the once feared Flyers quickly turned into league doormats and teams began circling their calendars for all the wrong reasons. However, the Flyers seem to have been ignited over the past couple of weeks as they’re beginning to make up ground in the Metropolitan division and trail the Capitals by five points for second place. Claude Giroux seems to have rejuvenated his game and with the Olympics not too far away and rosters being named in the next week or so you can expect that Giroux will continue to elevate his play not only to ensure his Flyers continue to jump in the standings but so that he solidifies his place in the Canadian Olympic team. Goaltending always seems to be an issue in Philadelphia but former Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason seems to have found a niche wearing black and orange and I think he gives the team the best chance to win on a nightly basis and he will go for the Flyers tonight.
The Canucks have quietly pieced together a pretty strong year but their success has flown under the radar so far as they’re competing with the likes of Anaheim, St. Louis, Chicago, San Jose, and Los Angeles for headlines. John Tortorella has his team playing a different brand of hockey than we’re used to seeing in Vancouver but is producing very similar results as the Canucks are fourth in the Pacific division and sixth in the Western Conference and they will certainly be in the mix come playoff time and I fully expect them to be active at the trade deadline. This is a tough one to call as I think the Canucks are the better team but they are playing in a back to back and catch the Flyers coming off a nice game in Edmonton and had a day’s rest. Ultimately, I think getting Luongo back in the crease will make the difference and at a relatively nice price I’ll take the home team to get the win.