Back Coyotes With Your NHL Picks To Get Important Win Over Canucks

Dana Lane

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 3:14 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 3:14 PM GMT

Our NHL picks face an extremely big game for both teams as they both try to keep pace in the Pacific. Vancouver (20-20-12 52 pts) can catch or go by Arizona (24-22-6 54pts) with a strong week.

 

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Free NHL Pick: Arizona -135
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Emotions Play An Important Part
Good spot here for Arizona considering the Canucks played last night at Colorado then had to charter to Phoenix for tonight's game, while the Coyotes have been home since Friday when they last played against the Ducks. You have to believe that Arizona Head Coach, dave Tippett will have his club well rested and well prepared for this one.

At this point it's unlikely that the Canucks will make the playoffs and that has put General Manager, Jim Benning, in the position of being a 'seller' as the trade deadline moves closer. I don't like to back bad teams with their jobs hanging over their heads. I think it motivates good teams but can weigh on the bad ones. We tend to look at players as pawns in our game of entertainment, but the truth is when trades are looming, players have to think about themselves and their families. That's alot to handle on top of trying to win hockey games.

When handicapping, we can't forget about the psychology of sports. I wish I could find a number that would accurately give me an overall numerical rating of a teams emotional state. I can tell you that, when players are playing under the umbrella of uncertainty, that's not a team I'm looking to back especially on the road against an equally desperate team.

Even the great, or used to be, Ryan Miller can't be sitting too comfortable. Miller (11-15-8, 2.64 goals against, .914 save percentage) has had a miserable year and now has to be reading the writing on the wall that the Canucks may look to move him as he counts $6 million against their cap and with another year on his deal. Back-up, Jacob Markstrom (8-5-4, 2.38 goals against, .923 save percentage) is now unbeaten in his last five games, even though he hasn't played since January 21st in Boston. If Vancouver finds themselves out of the race in the next few weeks, I wouldn't be surprised if the 36 year old found another jersey.

I do expect Miller to be in goal after Markstrom made the start in Tuesday in Colorado. The Canucks are also excited about Thatcher Demko who looked spectacular for Boston University in the annual Beanpot tournament. He may be in Utica (AHL) as early as next season to start his pro career.

We also must factor in the Canucks Head Coach, Willie Desjardin, has tinkered with some line combinations in an attempt to kick start the offense that can't seem to score more than one goal a game. I can't back teams who are still trying to find line combinations until I see how the changes gel.

 

Betting Analysis
With the uncertainty surrounding the team and the fact that Vancouver has been unrealiable as a road play for our NHL picks, we are going to side with the Coyotes who have a mini 4-1 record streak forming against teams with road winning percentages less than .400, and are favorites in the NHL odds boards for tonight.

The home team is 9-4 in their last 13 meetings in this series.

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