VANCOUVER CANUCKS (2-2-1, 5 pts)
at MINNESOTA WILD (1-2-1, 3 pts)
Puck drops: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Vancouver –130, Minnesota +110, Total: 5.5
Roberto Luongo will be back in goal for the Canucks after allowing consecutive games of four goals and sitting for the Canucks 5-1 victory over Carolina. Back-up goaltender Cory Schneider earned his first win in 22 months, as he stopped 32-of-33 shots. The road has not been kind to Luongo this season as he is 0-2 with a 4.04 GAA and a save pct. of just .843. The All-Star goaltender has not fared well against the Wild either, going 12-13-1-4 with a 2.88 GAA and a .896 save pct. in his 30 career starts. NFL spreads.
After getting off to a sluggish 1-2-1 start (scoring just seven goals), the Canucks broke out with five goals on Sunday. The Sedin brothers have been their usual exceptional selves, as both rank among the league leaders with seven points each. NFL lines.
Despite only winning one of their first four games, Head coach Todd Richards is happy with the team’s defensive effort so far. The Wild gave up 42 more goals last season than the year before, and to a man, the entire Wild front office, coaching staff and players believe defending better will be the key to making the postseason. Four games into the season, and Minnesota has been better, giving up 11 in four games after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Columbus. A key has been former defenseman Rick Wilson coming to the Wild as an assistant coach, bringing 30 years of coaching experience and a reputation for working with defensemen.
The Wild are without right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard (post-concussion syndrome), center James Sheppard (broken kneecap) and goalie Josh Harding (torn MCL/ACL).
The Canucks’ injury list includes forwards Alexandre Bolduc (ankle sprain) and Alexandre Burrows (shoulder) and defensemen Keith Ballard (concussion) and Sami Salo (Achilles tendon tear).
The Wild should provide a tough test for the Canucks who were having a hard time putting the puck in the net before defeating the Hurricanes. However, Luongo should be on his best game Tuesday, as he was embarrassed in his two previous outings and is anxious to show that he is the same goaltender who won 40 games last season. I like the Canucks to continue the offensive trend they started against Carolina and defeat the Wild. NFL betting lines.
According to the FoxSheets:
VANCOUVER is 44-23 ATS (65.7%, +14.7 Units) against excellent power play teams- scoring on >17.5% of their chances over the last 2 seasons. The average score was VANCOUVER 3.6, OPPONENT 2.7 – (Rating = 1*).