Following an impressive 3-1 victory in Nashville on Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks will return home to play host to the red hot Florida Panthers. The Canucks ended their five game road trip with back-to-back wins against the Capitals and Predators, but will face a tough task on Friday if they hope to extend their winning streak to three games.
Vancouver currently holds a record of 18-18-3, and sit sixth place in the Pacific Division. Despite the fluctuating amount games played across the NHL due to COVID-related issues, the Canucks are just five points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The visitors at Rogers Arena on Friday, the Florida Panthers, are one of the better teams across the league as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 26-8-5. The Panthers are led by interim head coach Andrew Brunette, and boasts talent with the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, Alexsander Barkov, and Aaron Ekblad. Florida will be on the second half of a back-to-back on Friday after playing in Edmonton last night against the Oilers. They beat the Oilers 6-0.
These two teams met recently on January 11th in the Sunshine State, with the Panthers securing the victory by a score of 5-2.
Vancouver received some very unfortunate news on Thursday morning when the team announced Thatcher Demko and J.T. Miller tested positive for COVID-19 via a pair of rapid tests. They were both sent home to isolate while the team awaits further testing. This would be a crushing blow to the Canucks, who already have Jaroslav Halak, Bo Horvat, and Conor Garland in the NHL’s COVID protocols.
Assuming Demko is confirmed as COVID positive, the Canucks will be forced to resort to either Spencer Martin or Michael DiPietro in net against the Panthers, who themselves should turn to backup goalie Spencer Knight.
The odds for Friday’s game in Vancouver are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official sports betting partner of FanSided.
Over 6.5 goals at -135
Under 6.5 goals at +115
Canucks +1.5 at -140
Panthers -1.5 at +115
Despite Florida visiting town for the second game of a back-to-back, they should be expected to win this game. Given Vancouver is down to a third string goaltender and are missing key pieces like Miller, Horvat, and Garland, we could see an ugly result at Rogers Arena. The Panthers carry the leagues best scoring offence, and will send a barrage towards whoever is in between the pipes for Vancouver. The circumstances are very unfortunate for the Canucks, who are playing their first home game in over one month, and it could make for a disappointing return to the home fans. I’m taking the safe bet here in this game and picking the Panthers to win with ease.
Pick: Panthers -1.5 at +115
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Panthers? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!