Maple Leafs vs. Canucks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can Vancouver Stay Hot?
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Quinn Hughes
Editor’s note: Saturday night’s Maple Leafs vs. Canucks game has been postponed due to COVID.
Maple Leafs vs. Canucks Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-135|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Toronto Maple Leafs visit the red-hot Vancouver Canucks and it’s expected to be a barn burner. Both the Leafs and the Canucks are both playing their best hockey this season, and are looking to continue their momentum.
Toronto shares the second best record in the East right now, and they are playing some tremendous hockey. In their last 10 games, they are 7-2-1, among the best marks in the league.
Ever since firing Travis Green and hiring Bruce Boudreau, the Canucks are also on fire. The Canucks have won six straight games, and have gone 8-2 in their past 10 games.
Toronto Maple Leafs Offense Thriving
You look at a team like the Maple Leafs, and you sort of marvel at the talent they have. GM Kyle Dubas has done a wonderful job at organizing a roster with offensive weapons in Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, and John Tavares (who is in COVID-19 protocols).
They have taken their hits recently, however, with injuries to Mitch Marner and Rasmus Sandin, but they have still managed to find the win column more often than not.
With all the talent up front, Toronto is one of the best teams at driving play. They’re a top 10 team in expected goals per 60 minutes with a 2.61 xGF, and generate the most high danger chances in the whole league with 327. It’s safe to say that the Leafs are one of the most dominant teams with everyone healthy. Even with Tavares out with COVID, it’s hard to imagine a team that’s stronger on offense.
It seems as if Jack Campbell has finally found a home in the “Hockey Mecca.” Campbell shares the top spot in SV% among net-minders, posting a .937 and second best in Goals Saved Above Expected with a 17.4 GSAx. Those statistics are even more impressive given the Maple Leafs’ defensive woes. Toronto definitely have their guy, and it makes the boys in blue and white that more dangerous.
Vancouver Canucks a New Team Under Boudreau
Hiring Bruce Boudreau is shaping out to be one of the better moves that owner Francesco Aquilini has made. Boudreau has a reputation of taking teams out of the mud and turning them into gold, which is what is happening right now in British Columbia.
The Canucks have a talented roster with JT Miller, Quinn Hughes, Conor Garland, and captain Bo Horvat, so it’s clear that they needed a new voice behind the bench. A thing to keep an eye on is the COVID-19 bug. Vancouver was hit with it recently, but have not taken substantial losses just yet like other teams.
The Canucks this year have been a very poor team driving play 5-on-5. They currently stand in the bottom 10 with an xGF% per 60 of 1.94 which is very much below par given the talent they have. Not only that, but they are also a bottom 10 team at generating high danger chances with 232.
I would take these numbers with a grain of salt however. This team has been climbing its way back up the ladder, and given the streak, it’s definitely been working. Even before the losing skid, Vancouver has managed to be pretty decent on the power play, scoring at a 19.6% clip, and I expect that to continue.
Over the past few years, Thatcher Demko has been shaping up to be one of the better goaltenders in the league. If the NHL ends up going to the Olympics, it’s believed that Demko is a shoe-in for one of the goaltenders spots for Team USA.
He’s posting really solid numbers with a .919 SV% and a 6.5 GSAx. I fully expect him to get the start, since backup Jaroslav Halak played on Tuesday.
Maple Leafs vs. Canucks Pick
Two teams playing some exceptional hockey, with two of the better goaltenders in the league, make this a possible exciting game.
I think this has a chance to be very tight knit due to Demko and Campbell in net, but in the end, I am very much in on the new Canucks given that they’re not posting fluky results. Not having Tavares could be detrimental as well.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks +115