Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks Betting Preview
Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel, left, and teammate Nicolas Hague.
- The Vancouver Canucks welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to Canada for Sunday's NHL showdown.
- The Canucks are slight -115 ML favorites, but analysts Greg Liodice has his eyes set on the visitors.
- Check out below why he's backing Vegas to pick up the road triumph.
Golden Knights vs. Canucks Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-105|
|Over/Under||6 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A Pacific Division battle is on deck in the Pacific Northwest when the Vancouver Canucks host the Vegas Golden Knights in Sunday’s NHL action.
It’ll be the second time these sides square off against each other, with the Golden Knights cruising to a 7-4 victory back in November.
The visitors are red hot, riding a wave right now after getting shut out in two consecutive games. While still dealing with injuries, the Golden Knights have won four consecutive games and have gone 6-4 in their last 10 contests.
While Vancouver made a push to get back into playoff contention, the club starting to fall behind. The Canucks have lost two in a row and gone 3-5-2 over the course of their last 10 outings.
Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas has been beset with injuries all season. In its five years of existence, this is the first season of adversity (imagine having your first struggling season and still being in the playoff hunt) for the Golden Knights.
Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, William Carrier, Reilly Smith and Nicolas Hague will be missing from his contest. Regardless, the Golden Knights have an abundance of talent, led by Jonathan Marchessault, Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson and Shea Theodore.
Despite the struggles, Vegas has managed to do a well enough job at creating offense. The team still scores 3.14 goals per game, while maintaining a 52.48 xGF% that’s good enough for 11th overall. Not only that, but the Golden Knights can create a ton of high danger chances. The one thing that needs work is their power play, as they only score 18.7% of the time.
On the defensive side, they’ve been average in allowing goals in (2.96 per game), but they yield a ton of high danger chances. The penalty kill is pretty average, where it only has a 78.9% success rate.
I’ll be very curious to see who Vegas puts in goal. Rookie Logan Thompson has really come into his own, with two exceptional games against Seattle (including his first career shutout).
My guess is they would want to get Robin Lehner a start, but sometimes you have to ride the hot hand. Thompson is posting a .921 SV% and a +2.6 GSAx in 11 starts, while the Lehner has a .909 SV% and a +7.6 GSAx this season.
There is certainly a lot of talent here and had the Canucks not had a dreadful start to the season, they might have been in playoff contention. Led by JT Miller, who is averaging more than a point per game, Vancouver has guys like Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat chipping in as well. The Canucks are healthy with just a few bottom-six players sidelined, but Horvat is day-to-day with an illness. Teammate Nils Hoglander is out with a groin injury.
Given the up-and-down season Vancouver has endured, it’s no surprise its offense can sometimes be lacking. The Canucks don’t score a ton of goals, as they only average 2.8 per game and rank 20th in xG with a 48.3 xGF% this season. However, they do pretty well on the power play, scoring at a 21.5% clip.
Vancouver has actually done a good job at preventing goals. The team only allows 2.84 per game, but what has really hurt it is its penalty kill. With a success rate of 72.4%, you can’t expect to make a playoff push.
Thatcher Demko is a guy not many pay attention to, but they should. After a fantastic showing two years ago, Demko has solidified himself as a No. 1 goaltender for the Canucks. The American is posting a solid .916 SV% and a +11.5 GSAx this season. I would expect him to start since backup Jaroslav Halak started a game on this week’s schedule.
Golden Knights vs. Canucks Pick
I think after the Golden Knights woke up after getting punched in the mouth by getting shut out in two consecutive games. Three of the 4 games they won were against teams out of playoff contention, but they were still games that they won.
There is no denying the talent in Sin City, and the fact Vegas has managed to do well enough offensively during this rough stretch bodes well for its overall future. The emergence of Logan Thompson has helped big time as well.
Vancouver made a few pushes to get back in the fold, but is ultimately falling off the wagon. I think the Canucks have a talented roster, but the numbers don’t add up well. The issue on the penalty kill is a massive red flag for me, even with the stellar goaltending Demko has provided.
Defensively, the Canucks are a mess and Demko makes them look much better than they are on the ice. With the momentum Vegas is riding, I think this is something it can pull off, especially if it gets on the power play a few times.
That said, I like the Golden Knights in this bout.
Pick: Vegas ML (-105)
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