No team has left Joe Louis Arena with a win in 23 straight tries. Next up are the Vancouver Canucks who make a visit on Thursday. Can the Canucks topple the home strong Detroit Red Wings? See who we are backing tonight.

Bettors and touts have cashed in plenty on the Detroit Red Wings record-setting home-winning streak but Thursday’s affair might be their biggest challenge to date. The Canucks have won 10 of their last 14 and are just two points behind the Red Wings for the best point total in the NHL

This one won’t be for all of the marbles but there is a big pot at stake. 

Thursday, February 23rd

NHL odds boards opened with the Red Wings listed at -140, but early sports betting action has since lowerd the spread to -130. The total remains steady at 5.5 at most sportsbooks.

The Vancouver Canucks can win because… 

Vancouver CanucksThey are the best road team in the NHL. A quick glance at the NHL standings shows that the Canucks have 20 road wins this season, which is more than any other team in the league. Their task might be made much easier on Thursday as the Red Wings will be without star forward Pavel Datsyuk.

Sure, the Red Wings are still one of the deepest teams in the league and are probably the most adept at handling an injury like this but you can’t deny that Datsyuk will be missed. He’s having an MVP-type year and leads the team with 59 points in 59 games.

The Red Wings are ready for a home loss and they’ve been coming eerily close to it. Just ask Datsyuk who notched the game-winner against Nashville last Friday with just five seconds remaining. Four of their last five home wins have come by exactly a goal. 

The Vancouver Canucks are 16-8 when playing on the road with a total of 5.5 and are 14-6 when playing a team with a winning record. They are more than capable of notching the win here. 

The Detroit Red Wings can win because… 

They know what’s at stake here: home-ice advantage. 

The Red Wings are a suspect 15-16-1 on the road this season but they are incredibly 26-2-1 at Joe Louis Arena. If they can lock down the top seed in the NHL, they won’t have to worry about winning on the road because they’ll have home-ice advantage throughout the entire playoffs.

They’ve already faced the Canucks three times this season and come away with two wins. As a matter of fact, they’ve won seven of the last 11 in this series overall. They know how to rough up Roberto Luongo, who has just 10 wins in 26 starts against Detroit. They’ve averaged 3.0 goals per game against him in his last 10 starts.

They have literally been unstoppable at home and the proof is in the pudding. They score 3.02 goals per game (fifth best in the NHL) and allow merely 2.30 goals per game at home (fourth in the NHL).

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

Call it a bit crazy, but the Canucks will be the play in this contest. Do you really want to be betting against an all-time NHL home-winning streak? Probably not. But the reality is that the other 23 wins won’t help them any more so in this game. This is a separate contest and for the most part, it looks like a coin flip.

The Red Wings are great at home but the Canucks are strong on the road. Throw in the fact that these two teams have played against each other many times in the last few seasons and the level of familiarity is very high. That being the case, the price seems a bit high on Detroit, so we’ll take the value with Vancouver, and add them to your NHL picks.

NHL Picks: Canucks