NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Canucks (December 27)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Canucks (December 27) article feature image

Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Elias Pettersson

Sharks vs. Canucks Odds

Sharks Odds+116
Canucks Odds-140
Over/Under6.5 (-128/+104)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Vancouver Canucks host the San Jose Sharks in an NHL matchup on Tuesday night. This game is already the third meeting between these two clubs this season, with the over cashing in each of the first two matchups.

Will we get yet another high-scoring affair, or can the goaltending step up this time around?

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San Jose Sharks

Prior to the holiday recess, the San Jose Sharks were involved in an abundance of high-scoring games. Entering this contest, there have been seven or more total goals scored in seven of San Jose's last nine games, a trend that is likely to continue in this matchup.

Slated to take the crease for the Sharks is goaltender James Reimer, who should be a good fade candidate. Through 19 starts this season, Reimer is 7-9-3 with a .904 SV% and 2.99 GAA.

While those are certainly not the worst surface-level stats in the world, his metrics suggest that Reimer is due for some regression. Among starting goaltenders, he ranks fourth-worst in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.

This expected regression could be realized against the Canucks, a team Reimer has struggled against over the last couple of seasons. Across his last three starts against Vancouver, he has produced a 1-1-1 record with a .880 SV% and 3.58 GAA.

In front of Reimer is a fade-worthy defense. At 5-on-5, San Jose ranks just 21st in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).

These poor defensive metrics are not surprising given that the only notable defenseman on the Sharks is Erik Karlsson, who is a Norris Trophy-worthy offensive defenseman but is a massive liability on the back end.

Vancouver Canucks

Like San Jose, the Vancouver Canucks have been involved in high-scoring contests recently. Entering this matchup, there have been seven or more goals scored in five of Vancouver's last eight games.

Also similar to San Jose, the Canucks are expected to start a fade-worthy goaltender in Spencer Martin. Through 18 appearances in the crease this season, Martin possesses a troubling .884 SV% and 3.66 GAA.

Based on his metrics, positive regression is unlikely as Martin ranks fifth-worst among starting goaltenders in GSAx/60 at 5-on-5. To make matters worse, the Sharks have feasted against Martin throughout his career as he possesses a .863 SV% and 4.24 GAA across three starts against them.

The blue line is unlikely to help out Martin as the Canucks rank in the bottom half of the league in xGA/60 at 5-on-5. With the injuries to defensemen Travis Dermott and Tucker Poolman, Vancouver is left with an underwhelming blue line that is always susceptible to allowing high-danger scoring chances to its opposition.

Sharks vs. Canucks Pick

Neither of these offenses are anything to brag home about, but they possess enough firepower to get the job done against two poor defenses and goaltenders. San Jose boasts some elite offensive-minded skaters in Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson while Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture help stuff the net.

Meanwhile, Elias Pettersson has dominated the month of December for Vancouver while Bo Horvat, Andrei Kuzmenko and J.T. Miller continue to produce around a point per game. Scoring depth is certainly a big concern for each club, but that should be offset given the weak blue lines and fade-worthy goaltenders.

There have now been seven or more total goals scored in five of the last six meetings between these two teams, a trend that is likely to continue with a bunch of fresh legs on Tuesday night following the holiday recess. If the line moves north of 6.5, I would rather lay more juice at that number than take the over at seven.

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