The Vancouver Canucks are coming off an embarrassing home loss on Wednesday night against the New York Islanders. After allowing a shocking five goals in the first period alone, the Canucks must put that performance behind them and move on to the next game.
Vancouver sits seventh in the Pacific Division with a record of 21-21-6, currently seven points outside of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. With their playoff odds slipping quickly, the Canucks desperately need to rally off a long winning streak to revitalize their hopes.
On Saturday night, Vancouver will host one of the league’s better regular season teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto holds a record of 30-11-3, good enough for third spot in the Atlantic Division. Despite their notorious postseason troubles, there’s no doubting the Leafs offensive firepower and their regular season prowess, both of which will trouble any team in the league.
Led by head coach Sheldon Keefe, Toronto boasts top-end talents including the likes of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
The Leafs special teams are amongst the best in the NHL, with their 29.6% power play efficiency and 84.3% penalty kill rate good enough for first and fifth respectively in the league’s ranks. Vancouver must keep themselves out of the penalty box, as their league worst 71% penalty kill could get exposed even further by the Leafs talent.
After Jack Campbell’s recent struggles, Toronto is turning to Petr Mrazek in net on Saturday, whilst Vancouver should return Thatcher Demko between the pipes despite him having to come in as relief to Jaroslav Halak on Wednesday.
The odds for this game are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Maple Leafs -190
Over 6.0 goals at -110
Under 6.0 goals at -110
Canucks +1.5 at -160
Maple Leafs -1.5 at +130
After a poor performance against the Islanders, I expect Vancouver to rebound with much more emphasis into Saturday’s performance. After Calgary roughed up and physically dominated the Leafs in their matchup on Thursday night, I expect the Canucks to do the same at Rogers Arena on Hockey Night in Canada. With Vancouver slowing down the game and grinding down Toronto, I expect this game to be close for all 60 minutes. Whether the Canucks can stay disciplined enough for 60 minutes to pull out a victory is a gamble not worth taking, however I expect Vancouver to play with some desperation and fire in their game.
The Canucks cover the +1.5 puckline.
Pick: Canucks +1.5 at -160
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Maple Leafs? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!