The Vancouver Canucks are set to return to the ice on Thursday night when they travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks at the SAP Center.
After a thrilling and much needed 3-2 victory over Toronto on Saturday at Rogers Arena, Vancouver will look to maintain the momentum in California as they strive to keep their slight playoff hopes alive.
Currently 22-21-6 and sixth in the Pacific Division, the Canucks remain five points out of the second wild card spot in Western Conference. With 32 games left in the season, Vancouver projects to need about 47 additional points to reach the 97-point total, the number that generally equates to a playoff spot in a 82-game regular season.
The Sharks are in a very similar predicament. Holding a record of 22-21-4, the Sharks currently sit two points behind Vancouver, good seventh in the division, with two games in hand.
Led by head coach Bob Boughner, San Jose boasts talents including the likes of Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, and Brent Burns. The Sharks have been very inconsistent throughout the season, with their special teams a true reflection of that.
San Jose’s power play ranks 21st in the NHL with a 18.2% conversion rate, whilst their penalty kill is very good, sitting fourth in the league at an 84% efficiency rate.
Thursday night will be the second matchup between Vancouver and San Jose this season. In the first game between these two teams, the Canucks walked away victorious by a score of 5-2 on December 16th.
Expect the Canucks to put Thatcher Demko between the pipes following his 51-save performance against Toronto, whilst San Jose goalie James Reimer should get the nod in net with Adin Hill injured.
The odds for this game are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Over 5.5 goals at -105
Under 5.5 goals at -115
Canucks -1.5 at +210
Sharks +1.5 at -265
After beating the Sharks on the road earlier in the season, have faith that the Canucks can return to the SAP Center and get the job done again. Vancouver is coming off an impressive victory over a top-quality Maple Leafs squad and also has the virtue of being well-rested having not played since that Saturday contest. The Sharks, on the other hand, are going in the wrong direction after losing four games in row and eight of their last ten.
Ultimately, the Canucks are the better team right now, so we should all favour the play of Demko and his teammates right now.
It won’t be a walk-over, but expect Vancouver to secure both points on Thursday.
Pick: Canucks -115
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Sharks? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!