NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Islanders vs. Canucks (Wednesday, Feb. 9)
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: New York Islanders standout Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
- The Vancouver Canucks welcome the New York Islanders to Canada for Wednesday's NHL showdown.
- The Islanders are the slightest of favorites in this spot, which should be a defensive struggle.
- Jonny Lazarus takes a deep dive into this affair below and delivers a pick tied to the game total.
Islanders vs. Canucks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Don’t let Tuesday’s NHL scoreboard in the Vancouver game fool you.
The Canucks might have won that battle against Arizona, but they were not the better team in the contest. The Coyotes won the expected-goals battle by a 2.13-1.94 margin, but goaltender Thatcher Demko stole the show, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced.
The New York Islanders are a team that hasn’t played to its identity all season and it will be very interesting to see how they come out to start the second half of the campaign.
New York Islanders
The Islanders didn’t get any help or luck on their side in the first half of the season. The biggest crutch for them has been their offense. They’re currently ranked 30th, only scoring 2.36 goals per game. However, there’s room for improvement, as they have a 2.68 xGF rating per 60 minutes.
Mat Barzal has had a decent season, but he seems to be the only forward playing consistently for this team. Barzal has 10 goals and 28 assists for 38 points in 36 contests.
If the Islanders are going to contend for a playoff spot and a second half push, they are going to need goaltender Ilya Sorokin to continue his strong play in between the pipes. Sorokin has been one of the better goalies, with 13-8-5 record and a +6.1 Goals Saved Above Expected on team that’s 16-17-6 overall.
The Islanders have become a very strong defensive team under the leadership of head coach Barry Trotz. They do a fantastic job limiting their opponent to high-danger scoring chances as they currently rank 13th, giving up 10.94 per 60 minutes and they have a 2.65 Expected Goals Against rating.
The defense will take care of itself in this matchup, but the biggest question is if the Islanders will be able to finish on their chances.
Thatcher Demko has been so strong for the Canucks all season, but since he got the start Tuesday, there’s a chance we see Jaroslav Halak start.
Demko has handled the grunt work for most of the season, starting in 35 games with a record of 18-15-2 and he is coming off of a very strong performance in the teams win last night. Halak’s last start came on Jan. 31 in Chicago against the Blackhawks where he stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced and led his team to a 3-1 victory.
The Canucks have so much offensive talent, but haven’t gotten consistent production all season long, but last night they were able to put up five goals even though they were playing against a very weak opponent.
The Canucks will also be without All-Star defenseman Quinn Hughes for the second consecutive game.
The Islanders and Canucks are teams that haven’t been able to find consistent offense and relied on strong goaltending to keep them in games.
Vancouver has a 2.76 xGF on the season and Tuesday it only expected to score 1.94 goals, but the Coyotes didn’t get strong goaltending.
The Islanders have a 2.68 xGF and are coming off of a game where they were shutout on home ice against Seattle.
Neither team relies on their offense and that’s why I think the focus in the contest should be the goaltending battle. I think both teams will get a strong effort from their man in the blue paint. I like the under in this matchup.
Pick: Total Under 5.5 Goals (-125)
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