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Kings Canucks Betting - Canucks Try To Take One Extra Step In 2012 NHL Playoffs

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/10/2012 4:11:05 PM

The Vancouver Canucks needed 16 wins to capture their first-ever Stanley Cup last spring. They won 15 games. The quest to win that one extra game begins this week in the 2012 playoffs.

Western Conference Quarterfinals: (8) Los Angeles Kings vs. (1) Vancouver Canucks  
Sports betting line: N/A

Why Los Angeles Will Win

When you place your sports bet on an NHL playoff series, the mindsets of the respective goaltenders regularly offers a reasonable place to start. Vancouver certainly has a credentialed netminder in Roberto Luongo, the man who brought the Canucks within one game of the Stanley Cup a year ago. Luongo won the 2010 Olympic gold medal with Team Canada, and he's certainly a battle-tested performer who is not a shaky rookie or a below-average veteran. Luongo has chops, without question.

However, Luongo was chased from multiple playoff games last spring against both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. He could very well feel the pressure of the moment in this series against the Los Angeles Kings. Moreover, Luongo – by being the goaltender for a top-seeded team against a number eight seed – might recall the scary series against Chicago last year, in which the Canucks barely avoided losing in the first round as a number one seed.

Luongo might play well in this series, but he might be dogged by internal psychological demons as well. If the latter is the case, Los Angeles has a very realistic chance of taking this series. The Kings have a high-quality netminder in Jonathan Quick who can outplay Luongo between the pipes and steal perhaps two games in this best-of-seven set. If Los Angeles can legitimately outplay the Canucks on two other occasions, it can collect the four wins it needs to move to the second round of the postseason.

Why Vancouver Will Win

The course of this NHL season has been a lot like the previous one for the Canucks, who are the President's Trophy winner for the second straight year. Vancouver once again accumulated the most points of any NHL team thanks to its depth, balance, and diversity of strengths. The Canucks are an adept skating team, but they're very physical as well. They can play and win by using different styles, attacking opponents in numerous ways. Los Angeles needs to be fully equipped in order to win this series. Yet, the Kings' biggest acquisition this past season, Jeff Carter from the Philadelphia Flyers, has been injured, and his status for Game 1 of this series is unclear. Even if Carter plays, it's unlikely that he'll be supremely effective, and that deals a harsh blow to Los Angeles before this series gets off the ground. Los Angeles has an offense that is ranked near the very bottom of the NHL – 29th in the league, in fact. The Kings will be operating at a deficit of talent and manpower in this series. Vancouver should take advantage.

Who Will Win?

A healthy Jeff Carter would have made this series an even fight, but it's doubtful that Carter will be 100 percent. Advantage, Canucks. They'll survive a 1-versus-8 matchup again.

NHL Betting Sites Pick: Vancouver in six games

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