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Kings vs Canucks Picks – David Versus Goliath in the West

Posted by on 4/13/2010 1:59:20 PM
NHL Odds: Canucks in Six

Anyone that has been following the Los Angeles Kings knows the story of their season. The Kings were always in the playoff hunt, and up until the last three weeks of the season they had a goalie in Jonathon Quick that they felt could really take them places. Quick struggled the last few games of the season, and the Kings kept the online betting guessing as to where they would wind up in the West. Thanks to solid offensive play from Anze Kopitar, the Kings wound up sixth and now have to play the third seeded Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs.

The Canucks are riding a wave since the Olympic break ended. Daniel and Henrik Sedin once again proved to be a wise offensive investment for the Canucks, especially Henrik who finished with a total of 112 points for the season. New Canadian national hero goaltender Roberto Luongo has been unbeatable since the Olympics ended, and the sports betting experts feel that the Canucks can climb on Luongo’s back for a deep run into the playoffs.

Kings vs Canucks Odds: Canucks in Six

The Story

The sportsbook experts know that regular season numbers should not be used to predict the playoffs, but the regular season numbers between these two teams are interesting to look at.

The Canucks won the season series from the Kings 3-1. In face-off winning percentage and penalty killing the teams have almost identical percentages. The Canucks have allowed 222 goals against and the Kings have allowed 219. The Kings won four of their last 10 games of the season where the Canucks won five of their last 10 games. The Canucks finished the season with 103 points, and the Kings finished with 101 points.

The two places where the teams differ in the numbers is goal scoring and odds. The Canucks are -240 favorites to win, and the Kings are +200 to lose. That is not the widest odds margin in the playoffs, but it gives a feel for how far apart the NHL betting experts feel these teams really are. The Kings scored 241 goals during the season, but the Canucks scores 272.


Who Has The Edge On Offense: Kings or Canucks?

The edge on offense goes squarely to the Vancouver Canucks. The Sedin twins play a lot on the powerplay for the Canucks, and that is just deadly to the opposition. Along with the Sedins, the Canucks have tough guy Alex Burrows with 35 goals and Mikael Samuelsson put in a career-high 30 goals in the 2009-2010 campaign. The Canucks are loaded on offense.

The Kings are more spread out on offense, and do not have nearly the punch that the Canucks have. After Anze Kopitar, the Kings have players like Ryan Smith and Dustin Brown to rely on for offense and neither of those two topped 25 goals. If the series becomes a shoot-out then that would be bad news for the Kings.

Edge: Canucks

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Kings or Canucks?

The one place that the Kings have something on the Canucks is on the blue line. The best defenseman on Vancouver is Christian Erhoff who has 27 assists and leads the Canucks with a +33 in plus/minus. But after Erhoff the punch of the Canuck defense falls off.

The Kings have Jack Johnson who impressed everyone with his play in the Olympics. Veterans such as Rob Scuderi and Sean O’Donnell are smart defenseman with some Stanley Cup experience. The Kings defense is made up of a role player for every situation, and they play their roles very well.

Edge: Kings

Goaltending

In the years to come Los Angeles goaltender Jonathon Quick will be a star in the NHL. The problem is that this is not one of those years. Quick is new to being a starting goalie, and he needs to learn how to adjust his game to the pressure that comes with playoff runs. He played terribly in the last two weeks of the season, and he comes into the playoffs on shaky ground.

Roberto Luongo has replaced Martin Brodeur as the goaltending savior in Canada. One of the only black marks on Luongo’s season is the eight goals he allowed to the Kings just 10 days before the end of the regular season. The Olympics may have helped to give Luongo consistency he desperately needs as he still cannot shake that reputation of choking in big games.

Edge: Canucks

Who Will Win The Kings vs Canucks Series?

The Canucks are either going to figure this playoff thing out, or they will tempt their fans again with a great season followed by a playoff flop. If Luongo is on his game then there is little the Kings have to offer that will stop the Canucks. The Sedin twins will score as they always do, and these two teams will be at each other’s throats the entire series.

In the end the series comes down to whether or not Jonathon Quick can mature enough in a week to stand up to the pressure of the playoffs, and whether or not the Canucks offense can get through the Kings defense.

Pick: Canucks in Six

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