Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:30 PM EST.
10:05 PM EST. While the Panthers won on Sunday, they needed seven goals to get by Edmonton, 7-5. The Panthers added an empty netter to seal it late but James Reimer was shaky on every shot on net, every missed shot and every goal while Harri Setari was rock solid for the most part when he was asked to fill the #1 shoes. In fact, Setari earned second star of the week and for a rookie with very little experience at this level, he was getting better and more confident with each passing game. Now Setari will sit again in favor of Reimer and we could be happier, as the better goaltender is sitting on the bench. While we like the Panthers, they cannot be favored on the road in this spot with Reimer in net. However, since the Panthers have won five of their past six and the Canucks are considered to be dregs, you’ll pay here for Florida’s hot streak. A closer look shows Florida beat the Islanders, Buffalo, Detroit, Vancouver and Edmonton over that span while allowing three goals or less in every game but the last one. In all of those with the exception of the last one, in which Reimer was tagged for five goals against, Setari was in goal. Coincidence? We think not.
Vancouver returns home from a four-game trip, which is an angle the market likes to fade from time to time but everything about the Canucks is trending the right way. While the Panthers were playing some of the weakest teams in the league over their past few games, the Canucks are coming off three road games in succession against Tampa Bay, Carolina and Dallas. They defeated the Stars 6-1 while firing away 40 shots on net. Vancouver has a way to go to be considered any type of threat but their GM has done a masterful job and the team itself is feeling pretty good about themselves. Last trade deadline, Trevor Linden dealt Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows for a pair of interesting prospects, and now they seem poised to have a similar sell-off. Thomas Vanek, Michael Del Zotto and others could be on their way out, as suggested by Linden in a letter to season ticket holders, when he stated that they will be adding some prospects and building towards the future over the next few months. The Canucks have an exciting pair of young players in Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, and a supporting cast of solid developing talent. For now, the plan will stay in place but what we like is that the players give it their all every game and they’re becoming a tougher out with each passing game while the Panthers are not good enough to be road chalk.
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VANCOUVER +102 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.04)