NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Canucks vs. Golden Knights (April 6)
Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel, left, and teammate Nicolas Hague.
- The Golden Knights are home favorites against the Canucks on Wednesday night.
- The Golden Knights have more motivation in this spot, but are they too heavily favored?
- Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Canucks vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-160|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Golden Knights return home looking to find a sixth consecutive win as they push feverishly for a wild-card berth out West.
Wednesday’s game will go as the second leg of a home-and-home set with the Canucks. The Golden Knights held up against a late Canucks comeback bid in overtime for a 3-2 win Sunday in Vancouver.
Can Vegas continue its push for the postseason with a crucial two points Wednesday at home?
Golden Knights Trending Up
The Knights suffered a tough loss on March 22nd in Winnipeg when Connor Hellebuyck stole the show with a 42-save shutout and drove Vegas’ playoff chances to a season-low.
Since then, the Knights have been downright dominant. Vegas has played to a 5-0-0 record with a 58.15 Expected Goals rating.
Robin Lehner and Brayden McNabb returning greatly bolsters the Knights’ heavily depleted lineup. Even with elite level players out of the lineup, such as Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, Vegas is still icing a very strong roster. This is a result of the Knights’ tremendous depth that once had them considered a cup favorite.
With Jack Eichel back playing at the level of an elite center, Vegas will still be dangerous if it can get to the postseason. Calgary and Colorado would rightfully be favored in round one over Vegas, but you have to believe they are really hoping to avoid catching a Vegas team with far greater than wildcard potential in round one.
Lehner will start here after stopping 27 of 28 shots faced Sunday in Vancouver in a very strong return to the lineup. Overall, Lehner has played to a +8.0 Goals Saved Above Expected rating and a .909 Save Percentage in 39 games played this season.
Canucks Limping to the Finish Line
Vancouver’s three-game losing streak has essentially ended its bleak playoff hopes, and it would take a miracle now for the Canucks to get into the postseason.
This doesn’t mean they will quit, but it feels like the air has been let out of this Canucks group, and we have seen a slight drop off in play of late.
They will head in to one of league’s tougher environments short Brock Boeser, and Nils Hoglander up front. Top defensemen Quinn Hughes is also listed as day-to-day due to illness.
Over the last five games, the Canucks have controlled play to just a 48.53% Expected Goals share, and I expect Vegas to come out with a ton of energy here and carry much of the play.
The x-factor in this contest could be Thatcher Demko, who has been one of the league’s elite netminders this season and should start for the Canucks. Demko has played to a +10.7 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with a .916 Save Percentage in 56 games played this season.
Canucks vs. Golden Knights Pick
Vancouver’s late push to tie it before eventually falling in overtime Sunday felt like its last gasp in a push for the postseason to me.
Surely the Canucks could be strong and finish admirably down the stretch, but it feels like they have lost a lot of the urgency and positivity from their midseason resurgence, and their flaws have started to show more often.
The Knights have some important players back in the lineup. Led by a surging superstar finding his form in Eichel, they are pressing hard for a postseason berth. Expect them to put some serious pressure on the Stars and Predators down the stretch for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Vegas has all the momentum right now and does not seem likely to let down here at home in a very winnable spot. Expect them to win in regulation at -110, and play them down to -125.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights Regulation Win -110 (Play to -125)