The Vancouver Canucks are coming off a disappointing 2-1 shootout defeat to the Florida Panthers on Friday night to begin their three game home stand.
Despite taking a 1-0 lead into the third period, and holding a 1-0 lead after the first round of the shootout, Vancouver only walked away with one point on the night. Even with the dread that sets in after a blown opportunity, there are plenty of positive takeaways for the home team who battled hard against one of the league’s best teams, despite their COVID-related absences.
The Canucks now sit seventh in the Pacific Division with a record of 18-18-4, and are positioned four points behind the second wild card position in the Western Conference.
Vancouver will look to rebound and pick up their first win at Rogers Arena in over a month when they host the surging St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.
St. Louis has won five of their last six outings, and are currently positioned third in the Central Division with a record of 24-11-5. The Blues are led by head coach Craig Berube, and holster talents such as Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou, and Pavel Buchnevich.
St. Louis is well-disciplined team on both ends of the rink, and rank inside the top-ten in both goals scored and goals allowed. Perhaps the most impressive strength for the Blues is the elite level of consistency that their special team oozes. At 29.3%, their power play conversion rate is good for second best in the NHL, whilst their 84.8% penalty kill ranks fourth.
Both of the Canucks special teams units rank in the bottom-half of efficiency rates and will be put to task on Sunday night.
The Blues should have Jordan Binnington between the pipes on Sunday at Rogers Arena; however, the Canucks goaltending situation remains a mess. Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak are still sidelined in COVID-19 protocols and, according to Rick Dhaliwal, an additional goaltender may be joining them.
This adds further unrest to an already growing COVID situation inside the Canucks dressing room, and all we can do is hope everyone else continues to test negative.
Assuming these reports are true, except whichever goalie tests negative to start in net against St. Louis.
The odds for Sunday’s game are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Over 5.5 goals at -115
Under 5.5 goals at -105
Canucks +1.5 at -195
Blues -1.5 at +160
Despite the COVID-related circus that is going on within the Canucks roster, still expect the team to remain competitive against the Blues, just like they did against the Panthers.
Vancouver is desperate for results, and need them in order to stay within touching distance of a playoff spot. Desperation can go a long way in sports, which should provide a little extra motivation for the home team. The uncertainty around the goaltending situation does give doubt about picking the Canucks to win outright, but don’t be surprised if the game is close for the entire 60 minutes.
Vancouver covers +1.5.
Pick: Canucks +1.5 at -195
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Blues? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!