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NHL Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avalanche

Roberto Luongo People who take their online betting seriously are probably a little confused by the Colorado Avalanche after the Olympic break. The US Sportsbook Reviews were probably confused when the Avalanche lost their first game back to Detroit. But, as it turns out, Detroit is healthy and surging towards a playoff spot. After beating the Anaheim Ducks, the Avalanche then fell to the newly-remodeled Phoenix Coyotes. As it turns out, the Coyotes have been doing that to everyone they have come into contact with since the break.

The Stanley Cup odds on the Avalanche sit at 30 to 1. Not bad considering the team had no hope of making the playoffs last year. The Vancouver Canucks are 12 to 1 favorites to win the Cup. There is a lot of talent in Vancouver to back that up and this NHL game preview should put some interest back in the Avalanche for the betting community.

[adinserter block=”1″]The last time the Canucks and Avalanche tangled it was in November, it was in Vancouver and the Canucks won 5-2. By contrast the Canucks have only lost one of their four games since the Olympic break ended, and that was to heavy 5 to 1 Stanley Cup favorite Chicago. The Canucks and Avalanche are an interesting study in how NHL hockey teams develop and evolve.

The Canucks have been building their team for years. The Sedin twins, Roberto Luongo and defenseman Sami Salo were all brought in from other teams to help create a core for the Canucks to build on. The problem with the Canucks is that they cannot get any better unless they make a blockbuster trade that would tear them apart. This Canuck team is what the fans will have to work with for at least another two or three years, and this Canuck team cannot win big games.

The Avalanche are doing things in a very similar manner to the Canucks. Goalie Craig Anderson was with the Florida Panthers not too long ago, and the only stalwart on the Avalanche team is Adam Foote who has been in the Nordiques/Avalanche organization on and off since 1992.

[adinserter block=”2″]The Avalanche have veteran leadership and a solid defensive core to build from. The problem with the Avalanche is that they do not have the scoring punch they need to win big games, yet. Young players like 19-year-old Matt Duchene are giving the Avalanche what they need to win in the future. The only question for the Avalanche is how they will fill in the holes that will be left behind when older players such as Adam Foote and Stephane Yelle retire in the very near future.

This game is going to be a learning exercise for the Avalanche. They will see where they are at, and what they can become by playing a Western Conference elite team. The Canucks have beaten the Avalanche in all previous meetings this season including an 8-2 pasting in November. That pattern will continue for the foreseeable future, but pay attention to the way this game is played. The Canucks will play with confidence because they know how to beat the Avalanche. But the Avalanche will have a few surprises for the Canucks before this game is over.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks 4-2

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