They’ve won four straight and other than some road losses in Boston, Montreal, Toronto and Colorado – all quality teams – the Ducks have not fallen. That means that they are still a perfect 7-0-0 at home.
Next up is the Vancouver Canucks as they’ll try to be the first to hand the Ducks a loss on The Pond. The NHL odds makers don’t expect it to happen.
The Vancouver Canucks can win because…
The Canucks have been good on the road this season. They are just 4-3-0 at home this season but seven of their 11 wins have come on the road. They are quite comfortable playing away from home and shouldn’t be intimidated by the Ducks.
The Canucks don’t get much credit these days but a quick look at the standings indicates they have 24 points. That’s as good as the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks, both who are deemed Stanley Cup contenders. However, the Canucks have been overlooked and are not getting the same type of love. Expect them to be competitive in this one even though the NHL odds indicate that the Ducks should win this game easily.
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The Anaheim Ducks can win because…
They are in peak form right now. We knew that Anaheim was going to be a good team when they started the season 7-1-0 but didn’t get any help from their power play. Now their power play is clicking and they are taking care of business rather easily. Anaheim has scored a league-leading 63 goals this season, which boils down to a jaw-dropping amount of 4.5 per game. Combined with the fact that the Ducks have been getting some stellar goaltending recently, that’s why they’ve been hard to beat (allowed just eight goals in their last four games).
Vancouver is going to be in a tight spot on Sunday night because of their schedule. They are currently in the midst of a four-game west coast road trip, which has taken them through Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles. Why that’s important is that Sunday is not only a back-to-back and their third road game in four nights, it’s also their fourth away game in six nights. They need to be at their best to beat Anaheim but it’s quite likely that they don’t have much left in the tank to go toe-to-toe with a rested Ducks squad.
Outlook & Pick
Anaheim probably wins this game but I don’t really want to pay -165 or -170 to add the Ducks to my sports picks. The Canucks have already cashed in as a big road dog in San Jose and pushed Phoenix to a shootout on this road trip, so it’s not impossible.
Instead, I’ll add the over to my NHL picks. The Ducks have been scoring so much recently that they’ve been pushing their games over the number. Three of their last four have gone over the total and if the Canucks can contribute a pair of goals, we should get another over.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at Ladbrokes