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Blackhawks vs Canucks Betting Odds – Canucks on fire at home

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/22/2010 12:42:15 PM

NHL Odds: Pick Rangers

Blackhawks v. Canucks has quickly become one of the most intense rivalries on the West Coast. Dating back to last year’s stellar playoff series, these two teams just don’t like each other. Sportsbook odds makers know these two teams are evenly matched and work well with one another. They’ve played twice already this season with each team coming out victorious. Both games were also decided by just a single goal, so it really can go either way. Antii Niemi and Roberto Luongo are two of the best in the business right now. Both teams can be considered elite’s in the Western Conference; both are considered legit contenders for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Whoever’s got a ticket to this game is one of the lucky ones

Blackhawks vs Canucks betting odds:

Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi is 13-3-1 on the season

Canucks forward Alexander Burrows: 13 goals in 9 games; five-game goal-scoring streak

Canucks are 20-7-1 at home; Blackhawks 13-7-3 on road

As with most teams in the NHL, the Blackhawks are having some trouble in goal. But this isn’t any regular sort of trouble, as neither goaltender wearing a Hawks uniform, whether it be Cristobel Huet or Antti Niemi, is playing bad at the moment. It’s just that Niemi is playing unbelievably good, and Huet is just playing solid. It might not be fair, but Huet has a reputation of being unable to deliver when it counts the most; especially in the playoffs. This week alone saw Niemi beat Detroit 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday, Huet lose 4-1 to Ottawa and then Niemi reclaim his position with a 3-1 win over the Flames on Thursday. Former Blackhawks great Jeremy Roenick weighed in on the situation, claiming that Huet is not the kind of goalie you can ride on in the playoffs, and that the Blackhawks need to start riding Niemi now or risk a legit run in the postseason.

NHL Betting fans know Niemi’s numbers.  He’s 13-3-1 on the season with a 1.85 GAA, .923 S% and four shutouts. Those are starter numbers. Conversely, Huet is 22-9-3 with a .904 S%, 2.24 GAA and four shutouts. Obviously those are no scrub numbers themselves, but there are many people outside of Roenick who do believe Niemi is the way to go for a long Chicago playoff run. There are plenty of teams who would love this kind of problem the Blackhawks are facing, what with two superstar goaltenders wearing the same sweater.

The Canucks are in the middle of a massive stretch of games mostly played at home. Since December 10th, Vancouver has played 19 games, 14 of which have been at GM Place. They’re 9-3-1 in that span. They’ll play at home three more times before being kicked out of Vancouver for a month and a half. That’s because the Olympics will be in town and GM Place will be calling Team Canada home. Because of that massive road trip, these current games at home are incredibly critical. There is no doubt that by the end of the road trip, the Canucks will be a tired and jetlagged bunch, and will probably lose a couple of games they would otherwise win if they were able to have some rest at home. They need to win now at GM Place to compensate for the inevitable lull at the back-end of their road trip. Credit the team for being able to do so.

The Canucks are riding Luongo until the Olympic break, as he just came off his 21st straight start. He didn’t look great in Thursday’s win over Dallas, but he was solid enough to win. Luongo is on pace for his fifth consecutive season of 70-plus games, and adding the Olympics to that resume may only make him more tired. But being overworked has never been an issue with Luongo before, and the online betting community shouldn’t make an issue now. Until Luongo’s legs actually fall off, there should be no concern with his work load. Bobby Lu has shown this season he is as good as ever and deserves to be played as often as he feels he can contribute.

DON’S PICK: These two are always a good game, but Vancouver’s recent home success, coupled with Luongo’s hot play and Burrows’ even hotter play, should be able to propel them over the top. But it will be a close one. It always is with these two.

Blackhawks vs Canucks Betting Pick: Vancouver

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