NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canucks vs. Blues (March 28)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canucks vs. Blues (March 28) article feature image

Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek.

  • The Vancouver Canucks travel to St. Louis on Tuesday for an NHL matchup with the Blues.
  • While neither team has had the season they hoped, Vancouver has been playing particularly well of late as the season winds down.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Canucks vs. Blues Odds

Canucks Odds-110
Blues Odds-110
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Neither the Vancouver Canucks nor the St. Louis Blues have a conceivable path to the playoffs, but that's not stopping either from putting their best foot forward to end the season.

Vancouver has won 10 of its last 12, bringing its season-long record back up to .500. Similarly, the Blues are 4-1-1 over their past six, mathematically remaining in the Western Conference postseason race.

One of these squads will extend its recent run of improved play after Tuesday's showdown.

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Vancouver Canucks

Kudos to Rick Tocchet for righting the Canucks' ship. Vancouver was floundering before the coaching change, appearing to get outplayed on a nightly basis. Prior to Tocchet taking over, the Canucks had put together a 45.7% expected goals-for rating, second-worst in the NHL. Since then, their benchmark has improved to 50.8%. That renewed growth is present in their current metrics and should continue against the beleaguered Blues.

Vancouver's presence has improved on both ends of the ice. The Canucks have attempted at least 10 high-danger opportunities in six of their past 10, holding opponents to eight or fewer such chances in all but two of those contests.

As expected, that's tipped the high-danger rating in their favor, with the Canucks getting out-chanced just once over the 10-game sample and posting a 56.4% benchmark.

Still, the Canucks' PDO is on the wrong side of 1.000, implying that further progression is expected. They are getting the most out of their offense, and Thatcher Demko is thriving under Tocchet's structure.

The netminder is stopping 92.1% since returning to action at the end of February, well above his season-long save percentage of 89.8%. There appears to be no limiting the Canucks success with Tocchet manning the helm.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues deserve some laudation for their recent accomplishments; however, their success is contraindicated in their advanced metrics. St. Louis remains one of the worst franchises in the NHL, putting together the fifth-worst expected goals-for rating on the campaign. Somehow, the Blues have lowered the bar more recently, putting them on the fast track with regression.

The 2019 Stanley Cup winners have been outplayed in 10 straight contests, with a cumulative 42.7% expected goals-for rating. That is below their season rating of 44.2% and among the worst marks in the league over that span. Factoring in their condensed schedule, Tuesday's contest is shaping up as a flat spot for the home side.

St. Louis comes into tonight's battle against the Canucks, playing its fourth game in six nights. Compounding those issues are some curious travel arrangements. The Blues went from St. Louis to Detroit, to the West Coast for two games, before returning to the Show-Me State. They've had to reset their clocks three times over the last six days, leaving them out of sorts against a surging Canucks squad.

Canucks vs. Blues Pick

These teams are positioned on opposite ends of the analytics spectrum. Vancouver has been one of the best in the league lately, outplaying its opponents in both ends of the ice.

Conversely, the Blues have been playing above their means, relying on unsustainable puck luck to offset their ineffective play.

This price is shifting toward the Canucks, and will continue trending ahead of puck drop. Nevertheless, the visitors are the side to back in this one, and they will likely be road chalk when the line closes.

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