The Vancouver Canucks are in the midst of a three game losing streak and have hit their lowest point under new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Following a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, the Canucks travel to D.C. to play the second half of a back-to-back on Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals.
Now sitting at 16-18-3 on the season, Vancouver is placed 7th in the Pacific Division, and remains six points out of a playoff spot in the West.
The Canucks have played three of their five games on their current American road trip, and are yet to take points from any game. Considering the complexity of the Canucks playoff hopes, their current losing streak needs to ended quickly. The team has done well to recover from their abysmal start to the campaign under Travis Green, but will need to re-find the momentum they gained in the early games of Bruce Boudreau’s tenure in order to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Vancouver’s opponent on Sunday, the Washington Capitals, are amongst the elites in the NHL and sit third in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 21-8-9. The Capitals are also on the second half of a back-to-back after beating the New York Islanders by a score of 2-0 on Saturday.
Washington is led by head coach Peter Laviolette, and host elite talents such as Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and John Carlson. As past teams Laviolette teams did, the Capitals play well-disciplined hockey and sit top-ten in goals scored and goals conceded per game.
After Vitek Vanecek started for the Caps in their matinee matchup against the Islanders, Ilya Samsonov should be between the pipes against Vancouver.
The Canucks goaltending situation is a little more concerning after Saturday morning’s news. It was revealed that Jaroslav Halak was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
The Canucks recalled third goalie Spencer Martin from the taxi squad, and their current situation for the Washington game is up in the air. Boudreau must make a hard decision of whether to start Thatcher Demko again despite him playing against Carolina, or trust Martin in net despite him only making three career NHL starts.
The odds for Sunday’s game are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Over 6.0 goals at -105
Under 6.0 goals at -115
Canucks +1.5 at -155
Capitals -1.5 at +127
The second half of a back-to-back is always very difficult for every team. Given the fact both teams are in that situation, combined with an afternoon puck drop should make for an unorthodox game. Given the state of the Canucks over the last few games, I don’t feel like it’s safe to back the team against the spread. One thing I will be expecting in this game is lots of goals. Given the offensive talents both teams possess, the unknown goaltender situation, and the physically and mentally tired defensive bodies out on the ice for both sides, I’d lean heavily on lots of goals being scored in this game. Who will be scoring these goals, I don’t know, but expect the nets to be bombarded on Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena.
Pick: Over 6.0 goals at -105
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Capitals? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!