Can the Vancouver Canucks turn this road trip around?
The team is coming off a devastating 1-0 overtime defeat to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, in which saw they ultimately ruined a stellar performance from Thatcher Demko, who was cleared to play after being placed on COVID-19 protocol.
Despite having three power play opportunities, Vancouver was only able to muster 15 shots on ex-Canuck Jacob Markstrom, and that can’t be a winning recipe for the Canucks moving forward.
Now 19-19-6 on the season, the Canucks remain seventh in the Pacific Division and continue to be faced with a daunting uphill battle to make the postseason. Vancouver will look to right the ship on Monday evening when they travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago sits with a record of 16-21-7, good for seventh in the Central Division, with their most recent loss coming at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.
Led by interim coach Derek King, Chicago has some high-level players on their roster including the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Seth Jones, but still continue to struggle with five losses in their last six outings.
These two teams have met twice before this season, with Vancouver taking the first game by a score of 4-1, and Chicago winning the second matchup by a score of 1-0.
An x-factor in this game should be the porous special teams play by both teams. Vancouver and Chicago both sit in the bottom-half of the league in penalty kill and power play efficiency, so any promising plays by either of these units should go a long way towards earning two points for whichever club can find success.
Given his performance against Calgary, Demko should be in line to start again on Monday. On the other end of the ice, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to be between the pipes.
The odds for this 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 -255
Blackhawks -1.5 at +205
The Canucks are in desperate need of a win, losing four of their last five games and watching their playoff chances slowly fade away. Despite the Blackhawks’ top-tier talent that they possess, Vancouver is a better team and carries the superior goalie. Vancouver might still be hanging onto slim chances that they can actually compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Chicago knows their season is practically over at this point.
In the end, expect the Canucks to win based on sheer desperation alone.
Pick: Canucks Moneyline -105
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Blackhawks? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!