NHL Monday Picks: Kings vs. Canucks

A.J. Apollo

Monday, November 25, 2013 12:32 PM GMT

Only five points separate the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks in the standings but the recent play of each respective team would make you believe that gap is wider. Here’s a look at their matchup on Monday night.

The Los Angeles Kings can win because…

They’ve been riding the hot goaltending of Ben Scrivens to three straight road wins. As a matter of fact, although they are coming off a pair of losses, they’ve have yet to lose in regulation (4-0-2) since Scrivens took over for the injured Jonathan Quick. Although people who make their NHL picks are a bit puzzled why the Kings have played surprisingly well with Scrivens, the reality is that the team has rallied around him. With Quick, they were a bit lazier as they knew they had an ace that could dig them out of a hole. With Scrivens, they are playing better team-wide defense to protect him. As a team, everyone has stepped up, but will the NHL odds recognize that?

The Vancouver Canucks can win because…

The Kings enter in a bit of a funk. Los Angeles has lost two straight and has scored just one goal in the process. They tend to go through spurts where their offense gets stuck in the mud and this could be one of them.

Specifically on the road, they don’t score much as they’ve totaled just 11 goals in their last six road games. That makes this game manageable for the Canucks.

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Outlook & Pick

There’s no really good reason to add the Canucks to your NHL picks here. You have to lay juice with them, they aren’t great at home (5-7) and the Kings do just fine on the road (7-4). On top of that, Vancouver has lost six of seven while scoring just 13 goals in the process. This is a great spot to take a shot with the Kings.

NHL Pick: Kings +125 at Bovada