Tough Thursday In Store For West Coast Canadian NHL Teams
Can Edmonton Beat Up On New Jersey Again?
Edmonton's four-game road trip through New York and the surrounding area gets to Game 2 on Thursday as they are in New Jersey to take on the Devils. The Oilers trip opened up with a 2-1 OT win against the Islanders, but putting the puck in the net is still a huge issue for this Edmonton team at the moment. Oilers fans are hoping those offensive woes story die - at least for one night - as some potential deja vu could be in store against a Devils team Edmonton has already seen.
Last week the Devils were in Northern Alberta and Edmonton's offensive issues were nowhere to be found in a 6-3 win over New Jersey. That was only the 2nd time in Edmonton's last nine games that they've scored more then two goals, and when this team isn't scoring, wins are tough to come by. I wouldn't be in a rush to expect Edmonton to duplicate that offensive performance on the road - the Oilers average 1.60 goals per road game this year, and those who prefer totals may want to look at the 'under' in this game.
Calgary's In A Good Spot To Get Back In The Win Column
After getting a three-game win streak snapped on Tuesday with a 5-3 loss to Vancouver, the Calgary Flames host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night as the Wings wrap up their Western Canada swing. This will be the fourth straight road game - all vs Canadian squads - for the Wings, who followed up a 3-1 loss in Ottawa with consecutive victories over Edmonton and Vancouver before this contest. Detroit will head home after this game in Calgary and the road-weary Wings could experience a bit of fatigue in this spot.
Calgary has opened up as -165 home favorites as oddsmakers believe this is a rough spot for Detroit and I'm inclined to agree. Yes, Calgary just lost to a division rival in Vancouver, but the Flames dominated much of that game and outshot Vancouver 32-21 by the end of it. So many quality scoring chances weren't converted, and as the Flames begin to wind down this seven-game homestand, I'd expect those same chances to find the back of the net against a Wings team anxious to get back home.
Vancouver Enters The California Gauntlet
Vancouver got their road trip started off right with the aforementioned win in Calgary on Tuesday, but now comes the grueling three-game stretch in California. It begins against a banged up Anaheim Ducks team on Thursday, and there is really no fatigue concerns with no back-to-backs, but for a Vancouver team that was expected to be a bottom-feeder this season, these next three games are going to be a grind.
Projecting out Vancouver's possible results in the near future, it's tough to imagine the Canucks finishing this three-game stretch in California with better than a 1-2 SU mark tops. Vancouver will be underdogs in all three games - and bigger dogs as the trip goes on and finishes in L.A, but fading them over the next six days or so might be the best way for your bankroll to treat these upcoming Canucks games.
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