When the Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks met two years ago, even though the Canucks won, the Panthers were accused by Vancouver head coach Travis Green of being the NHL’s pet.  Since then, Green has made sure the players don’t forget that game and motivate them to bring everything they have each time the two meet. This is where we start for our picks today for Jan 9.

Daily Picks Jan 9

His talks must work, because the Canucks stomped the Panthers 7-2 when they squared off on the ice last October, and they’ll be looking to do it again tonight.

The Panthers and the Canucks are about even in records this year.  The Panthers have won 22, the Canucks have won 23 and they have both lost 16 games.  However, the Canucks are 7-1 in their last eight games, with the only loss taking place against the Tampa Bay Lightning this past Tuesday.  It was a grueling loss – 9-2 – and tonight’s game is going to be intense as they seek redemption.  Despite being heavy underdogs at +130, the Canucks have outscored the Panthers this season and will show a repeat tonight.  Vancouver is going to come out strong and the Panthers don’t have a strong Thursday night performance record, winning only two of their last eight games on the day.

Rangers vs Devils

The Hudson River Rivalry is going to be fought once again tonight in the NHL as the New York Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.  Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin made his first appearance in the league this past Tuesday and impressed the coaching squad as he helped his team secure a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.  Head coach David Quinn is confident that he can repeat his efforts again in this ongoing rivalry.

Tonight’s game isn’t as important for the Rangers in terms of a playoff appearance as it is to make a statement that it can still dominate the Devils.  They have met 283 times and the Rangers have taken 137 of the games.  The moneyline favors the Rangers at -147 and the game will most likely go Over the 6-point expectation.  That has been the case in the majority of New Jersey’s most recent games, as well as those of New York, and the competitive spirit both teams are bringing is going to lead to some serious action.

Lightning vs Coyotes – Big Pick for Jan 9

The Arizona Coyotes are off to Florida to take on the Lightning tonight and are going to find a tough team to beat as they face off for the first time this season.  The Lightning have won eight games straight and are second in the Atlantic Division, while the Coyotes are first in the Pacific.  This game promises to be a fight to the bitter end.

The Lightning have mastered the power play this season and this could be the edge they need.  They also lead the Coyotes in goals and shots on goals, giving them an extra boost.  At -190, Tampa Bay is heavily favored to win and, with a little luck, will pull it off.  They’re 6-0 when playing a Pacific opponent and will keep the record going.  At a total of six points, the final is expected to go over, which the Lightning have seen in eight of their last 12 games – 6 out of 7 when playing at home.

Blues vs Sabres

The St. Louis Blues meet the Buffalo Sabres tonight, and there isn’t much to talk about, except to say stay away.  The game is in St. Louis, where the Blues are currently at 6-0.  The Sabres haven’t been able to produce much of anything lately and aren’t expected to put up much of a fight.  The Over at 5.5 (-125) might be worth a look, since the Blues are going to take control and put some strong numbers on the board.

So, that’s it for our picks for Jan 9, good luck everyone!