The Vancouver Canucks are set to take on the New York Islanders in the much-anticipated return of former captain Bo Horvat. Horvat made headlines last season with his comments to the media. Nearly a month after the trade, Horvat was asked how this playoff push ranks with the fan’s involvement over the last few games, and he responded, “It’s a lot better than Vancouver, I’ll tell you that for free.” per NBC Sports.
Since then, he’s taken back his comments in hopes to mend his relationship with the passionate fan base. It should be interesting to see if the fans cheer for him or boo him in his return.
Both teams seem to be going in opposite directions over their last five games. Vancouver has won four of their last five, while the Islanders have lost five straight. The Canucks have had the Islanders number as of late, winning four of their last six head-to-head matchups. The most notable trend between these two teams is that they’ve gone over the 6.5-game total in six straight and 10 of their last 11 matchups. The Canucks coming into tonight’s game have eclipsed this total line in four straight. Vancouver ranks first in goals for this season, averaging 4.54 goals per game, while the Islanders are averaging 3.0 goals against per game, per shotpropz.com. If we’re expecting a high total for tonight, here are some player props for you to target.
Filip Hronek Point (+100)
Hronek has recorded a point in 10 straight games and 12 of his 15 games this season, totaling 16 points. He has points in all six home games this season, totaling nine points. Any exposure to the current betting favourite for the Norris trophy, Quinn Hughes, is a good bet for me. Speaking of Quinn Hughes…
Quinn Hughes Over 2.5 Shots On Goal (-130)
Head coach Rick Tocchet told Quinn to shoot more this season, and boy has he ever. Quinn has cleared his shots on goal line in all six home games this season, averaging 4.3 shots on 8.0 shot attempts per game. Last season, I was very hesitant to play a defenseman’s shots on goal line against the Islanders, but this season they’re a target of mine.
The Islanders allow the second most shots on goal to defensemen this season, averaging 10.6 per game. The Islanders allow 3.5 powerplay opportunities against per game this year. Quinn Hughes is second on the team in shots on goal on the powerplay with 17 in 15 games played. Quinn has failed to clear this line in three straight, all on the road in much more difficult matchups. Tonight should be a nice bounce-back spot for Quinn.
Mat Barzal Point (-140)
Barzal has re-found his offensive success like he had in his rookie year since moving to the wing after the addition of Horvat. Since his rookie year and before Horvat, Barzal averaged 0.81 points per game. With Horvat, Barzal averages 0.9 points per game. Barzal has 10 points in 14 games this season, but the most impressive stats are his historical numbers vs. the Canucks.
Barzal loves playing his hometown team. In nine career games played, he has points in every game, totaling 15 points. Demko has been a brick wall this season, only allowing a 1.96 goals against average this season, but these are some historical numbers we can’t ignore.
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Best Bets Summary:
Game Total Over 6.5
Filip Hronek Point
Quinn Hughes Over 2.5 Shots On Goal
Mathew Barzal Point