Canucks vs. Golden Knights Game 6 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Thursday, Sept. 3)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Elias Pettersson (40) and J.T. Miller (9).
Canucks vs. Golden Knights Odds
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|Canucks Odds||+205 [BET NOW]|
|Golden Knights Odds||-245 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||6 (-108/-112) [BET NOW]|
|Time||9:45 p.m. ET|
If you were wondering how the Vancouver Canucks can win a game and get back into this series, look no further than Game 5: a great goaltending performance, prayer and a lot of luck.
Vancouver answered Shea Theodore’s beautiful opening goal within half a minute to stop any potential momentum the Vegas Golden Knights might have gained.
The biggest reason for the Canucks win was the play of their goaltender, who stopped 42 of 43 shots to keep his season alive. The shocking part is that it was backup goalie Thatcher Demko, making his playoff debut at the age of 24; Jacob Markstrom who was deemed unfit to play.
Can Demko and the Canucks keep the magic rolling?
Check out our free NHL odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Vancouver won a game that it most likely didn’t deserve to win in Game 5. In fairness, that was always going to be said about any game they won in this series. These two teams are pretty far apart in terms of talent level, and their styles of play could not be more different. Vancouver likes to take advantage of mistakes off the rush while Vegas grinds you down by keeping the puck in your zone all game.
The underlying metrics were not pretty for Vancouver. The shot attempts at 5-on-5 were 60 to 32 in favor of the Golden Knights. Vancouver only had four high-danger chances all night and only 28% of the expected goals. Like I mentioned, it was never going to be pretty from Vancouver; but Game 5 was even more one-sided than previous games in the series.
Nonetheless, spectacular goaltending performance tipped the scales in favor of Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom is the usual backstop for the Canucks, but he was deemed unfit to play. Thatcher Demko stepped into Markstrom’s role, and the story wrote itself. The 24-year old stopped 42-of-43 shots to keep Vancouver’s season alive.
So, just who is Thatcher Demko?
Demko is completing his first full season as the Canucks’ backup net-minder. He appeared in 27 games this season, and he struggled for the most part. His goals against average was over three goals per game, and he only stopped 90.6% of the shots he faced. Demko was a high second round draft pick, and he is still young, so he still has plenty of time to develop. However, despite his potential, no one expected the kind of performance he delivered in Game 5.
I expect Demko to be back in the crease again in Game 6. Markstrom is dealing with a groin issue, which could explain why he hasn’t looked like his usual self in this series. Even if Markstrom recovers quickly, how can you take Demko out of the crease after that debut?
Relying on goaltending isn’t enough, because you can’t win a game 0 to 0. Elias Pettersson is the Canucks best player, and he scored the winning goal in Tuesday’s game. Canucks coach Travis Green uses Pettersson in every possible way. He has played him on a line with Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson for the most part. However, when his team needs a big shift, Green stacks the top line with Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller.
In order for Vancouver to further extend this series, Pettersson and Demko likely must once again dominate the Game 6 postgame storylines.
Vegas Golden Knights
What is Pete Deboer’s message to his team after their loss in Game 5? Play that way again and you’ll win quite a bit more than you’ll lose.
As mentioned above, the Golden Knights ran into a storybook fairytale in net for the opponent. But that narrative still doesn’t change the fact that this game and this series has largely been dominated by Vegas. The fact that Vegas is a -240 favorite (DraftKings) certainly confirms that.
Vegas leads the NHL’s postseason tournament in Corsi-for percentage (59.4%), expected goals (63.5%), and high-danger chances (60.2%). This team is relentless, puts pressure on your defense and plays in your zone all game.
Coach Deboer hasn’t been happy with the play of his second line, consisting of Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and Paul Stastny. At points during Game 5, he actually took Stastny off that line and gave William Karlsson some looks between Smith and Marchessault. The Knights’ second line is the only unit that hasn’t been bludgeoning the Canucks in this series. I guess slightly above average isn’t good enough for this team.
Robin Lehner has two shutouts through five games and figures to be in net for Game 6. Lehner was barely tested in Game 5, but he didn’t have much of a chance to make a save on either of the Canucks goals. Marc-Andre Fleury will always linger in this goalie situation, but be careful if you are backing the Canucks: Fleury is a downgrade compared to Lehner at this point in their respective careers.
Betting Analysis & Pick
As someone who backed the Canucks in Game 5, I realize that this is the point where we should pocket our profits, thank heavens for our luck, and get the hell out of the casino.
We were extremely fortunate to cash that ticket, and the only way we get back to the window is if things miraculously go our way again.
Thankfully, you’re betting on hockey here. The sport is filled with variance. Luck, bounces and goaltending mean more than teams’ talent levels in most games.
Will Vegas win this game? That seems likely. They are -240 favorites for a reason (DraftKings).
Even if they lose, will Vegas be the better team who deserved to win the game? Yes, they almost certainly will.
All that being said, a team with Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes, and Bo Horvat has more than a 32% chance of winning any game they play in. That’s the implied probability of the current odds.
The Canucks have value again. Place the bet and pray.
Pick: Canucks moneyline +200.