New York Rangers (28-28-13) at Vancouver Canucks (28-32-9)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 10pm (Rogers Arena)
Line and Odds: -1.5–Over/Under: 211
NHL Picks and Parlays Vancouver Canucks vs. New York Rangers
New York Rangers
Based on their current standing the Rangers are playing with the purpose of wrapping up the season and evaluating their roster for next season. The Rangers are 28-28-13 and are buried deep within the Eastern Conference. With so few games left, the Rangers’ playoff chances have been shattered. The Rangers have been underwhelming across the board as they rank below league average in goals/game, goals against, power play percentage, and penalty kill percentage. In order to change their trajectory next season, Rangers management has to know that a roster overhaul is needed. Because the Rangers have virtually nothing to play for in their remaining games, management can use the games the team has left to play to decide who they want on the team moving forward.
Looking into the offseason, the Rangers should build around Centre Mika Zibanejad who has led the team in points, assists, and power-play goals. Entering tonight’s game against the Canucks, the Rangers have lost 4 of their last 5 games as their backslide continues. The Rangers will have an important decision to make about the rest of the season; do they want to play their hardest for the sake of team pride? Or do they want to deliberately lose to increase their chances of a higher pick in the draft lottery? With the Rangers hopes pinned to next season, it will be interesting to see how the team responds in its performance tonight and in its games the rest of the season.
The Canucks are in an identical situation as the Rangers. With a record of 28-32-9 all the Canucks can do with their remaining games this season is plot what they want to do once the offseason comes. Like the Rangers, the Canucks will want to focus their energy on retooling their roster from top to bottom. Also, similar to the Rangers, the Canucks have a player they can rest their hopes upon…Elias Pettersson. While his production has slowed down lately, the rookie currently leads the Canucks in goals, assists, plus/minus, and power-play goals. In other words, Pettersson is the future of the franchise, but the Canucks are still going to have to figure out how to situate the pieces they have around Pettersson for next season,
One of those pieces that will be strictly evaluated is Quinn Hughes. The Canucks recently signed Hughes after he completed his last collegiate season at the University of Michigan. Because the Canucks have nothing serious to play for, expect to see Hughes get a sizeable amount of playing time as Canucks’ management will attempt to ascertain Hughes’ abilities on the professional level. Hughes is expected to bring offensive firepower to the team which is something that they desperately need as the Canucks are a paltry 26th in goals/game and 29th in power play percentage. Hughes isn’t the only youngblood the Canucks have brought onto the team in the twilight of the season, they have also added Josh Teves and called up Guillaume Brisebois as well.
NHL Betting Trends:
New York Rangers
NY Rangers is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
NY Rangers is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of NY Rangers’s last 5 games
Vancouver is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Vancouver’s last 10 games
Vancouver is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games at home
Free NHL Expert Picks New York Rangers vs. Vancouver Canucks
Both teams playing tonight are in a rebuild mode with no clear incentive to play their absolute hardest tonight outside of sheer pride. With that being said, I expect the Vancouver Canucks to win tonight. I believe that the youth movement that Canucks’ management is slowly initiating in their roster will bring carry the Canucks to a win tonight.
PICK: Vancouver Canucks -1.5