2014-15 NHL Betting Preview: Vancouver Canucks

For the first time in six seasons, the Vancouver Canucks did not win a division title last year. After four straight Northwest championships, Vancouver shifted to the Pacific Division and had their worst season in over a decade. After going 36-35-11, and missing the playoffs, the Canucks cleaned house. Armed with new leadership, a top flight goaltender, and reliable front line players, Vancouver is likely to rebound this season.

For the first time in six seasons, the Vancouver Canucks did not win a division title last year. After four straight Northwest championships, Vancouver shifted to the Pacific Division and had their worst season in over a decade. After going 36-35-11, and missing the playoffs, the Canucks cleaned house. Armed with new leadership, a top flight goaltender, and reliable front line players, Vancouver is likely to rebound this season.

Alain Vigneault was the coach of the Canucks for seven seasons. The team was a regular season dynasty and made it to game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011 falling to the Bruins in a winner take all contest. After Vancouver was swept by San Jose in the first round of the 2013 postseason Vigneault was dismissed and John Tortorella took over. Tortorella, fired by the Rangers the previous year, lasted just one season and when he failed to make the playoffs lost his job along with GM Mike Gillis. Trevor Linden, Jim Benning, and Willie Desjardins are the new Vancouver brain trust.

On the ice the new regime traded Ryan Kesler to Anaheim for a package that included Luca Sbisa and Nick Bonino, and signed Ryan Miller to a three year contract. Radim Vrbata was brought in to play right wing on line that will include Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Bonino should center the second unit which includes Chris Higgins and Alex Burrows. Alex Edler and Kevin Bieska should comprise the top defensive paring. After a solid rookie campaign, Eddie Lack will back-up Miller.

Last year Vancouver went 35-46 including 16-25 on the road. Their games went over 32 times, under 42 times and pushed on eight occasions. They are 15-2 to win the Pacific Division and 40-1 to hoist the Stanley Cup. With Miller between the pipes, and new leadership intact, it is reasonable to believe the Canucks will improve, give up fewer goals, but perhaps take a few weeks to learn and become comfortable with a new system.