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Predators Canucks Betting – Vancouver Aims To Play With Freedom

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/28/2011 2:05:45 PM
predators canucks betting

The Vancouver Canucks, at long last, disposed of the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL postseason. Now, the team with the NHL’s best record hopes to play its best in round two.

(5) Nashville Predators vs. (1) Vancouver Canucks.

The sports betting community was riveted to the action on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The hometown Canucks, once leading three games to none in the first round of the NHL playoffs, had been extended to a Game 7 by the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that won last year’s Stanley Cup and the team that had ousted Vancouver from the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons. Chicago was aiming to become just the fourth team in NHL history to erase a 3-0 series deficit to win in seven games, and just the fifth team in the history of North American professional sports (including the 2004 Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball) to attain the feat. What was amazing – and not just to MLB baseball betting experts who remember the Red Sox’ miracle comeback against the New York Yankees – was that Chicago had a legitimate claim as the favorite in Game 7. The Blackhawks had established permanent residence inside the head of Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, a distinguished netminder but a man who could not solve Chicago in two previous playoff losses. Chicago regularly rattled Luongo in 2009 and 2010, and after the Canucks bolted to a 3-0 series lead in 2011, Luongo once again allowed the Blackhawks to get to him. Things got so bad that after two blowout losses in Games 4 and 5, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault pulled Luongo from the starting lineup in Game 6. Luongo had to relieve an injured Cory Schneider late in the game, but when he gave up a bad rebound and was beaten for a game-losing goal in overtime, all the pressure rested on his shoulders in a Game 7 he dearly wanted to avoid. However, Luongo stood tall and saved 31 shots in a do-or-die situation. Vancouver won 2-1 in overtime on Alex Burrows’ second goal of the evening.

The reality of this second-round series is very clear: Vancouver has beaten its nemesis from the Windy City. Can the Canucks now play liberated hockey and flourish the way they did in the regular season, or will they once again fail to grab the brass ring? Vancouver has never won the Stanley Cup in its 40-year history; the Canucks are notorious for not delivering on their promise and potential. The big question in NHL betting circles is obvious: Will Vancouver play up to its capabilities, or will Nashville, which has finally won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history, use its defense-first style and the goaltending of Pekka Rinne to frustrate the Canucks?

The sense here is that Chicago was a huge psychological mountain for Vancouver. The Blackhawks represented an enormous obstacle for the Canucks. Now that that problem has finally been solved, we should see the best of Luongo and the President’s Trophy winners as well. The Canucks should be primed to win this series against an inexperienced playoff team. This is the NHL second-round series with the most uneven matchups on two rosters.

NHL Betting Pick: Vancouver to win series in six games.

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