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After a 2-1 shootout victory by the Vancouver Canucks, the Canucks and Canadiens will meet up once again as part of the mini-series on the West Coast. The Canadiens have struggled in the recent games and with the shootout loss, have been passed by the Canucks in the win column. With both teams fighting for that final playoff spot, this mini-series is crucial for both teams as the season is in full swing.
Canadiens hope offense can step up
After only scoring one goal in the first game of this mini-series, the Canadiens are going to hope that their offense, which scores 3.2 goals per game, can rebound and pile on the goals. The offense has the talent with Tyler Toffoli scoring 15 goals this season with Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson scoring 10 each with defenseman Jeff Petry scoring 9 goals on the season as well.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 9, 2021
Speaking of Jeff Petry, he leads a defense that has played well all season and held the Canucks to only one goal in the first game of the mini-series. Petry and Joel Edmunson combine for 4.1 defensive point shares and 53 blocked shots as the top pairing while 35-year-old Shea Weber has 35 blocked shots on the season. In addition, the goaltending duo of Jake Allen and Carey Price has played well in the recent games with the duo only allowing 2.5 goals per game and saving .910 shots on the season as well.
Canucks hope Demko can continue playing well
The Canucks have been terrible on the defensive end all season, allowing 3.2 goals per game and struggling in all facets from blue line discipline to goaltending. However, in the recent 3-game winning streak, it appears that the 25-year-old Thatcher Demko is ready to take that leap into the starting role as he has only allowed 4 goals in the past 3 games and is allowing only 2.7 goals per game all season.
Better late than never! Gaudette and Horvat came up clutch late, while Demko shut the door in the shootout in a #Canucks comeback win.@budweisercanada @PWHPA Highlights | https://t.co/1HlkvJMiYb pic.twitter.com/vM4DTVoI7T
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 9, 2021
The offense has struggled all season but the top line is still one of the best in the NHL. Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Elias Pettersson have combined for 34 goals this season and are the only Canucks to have more than ten goals this season. In addition to the top line, the top defenseman, Quinn Hughes, is leading the team with 21 assists with fellow defenseman Tyler Myers adding 10 as well.
Canucks are 6-0 in their last 6 Wednesday games.
Canucks are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record.
Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 games as an underdog.
Canucks are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. NHL.
Canadiens are 1-4 in their last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Canadiens are 2-8 in their last 10 games as a favorite.
Canadiens are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 1 day’s rest.
Canadiens are 0-5 in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
Canadiens are 0-5 in their last 5 road games.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Canucks have won the last 3 games and one would think they are poised to drop the next game against a well-adjusted Canadiens team. However, the Canucks have finally found their goaltender in Thatcher Demko and it looks impossible to get a puck past him in the recent games. The Canucks should be able to find offense from their top line in this game and also find plenty of offense against the backend of the Canadiens defense. In addition, the pairing of Tyler Myers and Quinn Hughes should be able to create scoring-opportunities from the point throughout this game to help the Canucks run away with this game. Expect the Canucks to win and pull off the upset at home.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
Both these teams have two of the best offenses in the NHL and after a quiet night offensively, one would expect the goals to pile in. However, this game looks to become another goaltending battle with Thatcher Demko truly hitting his stride at the right time. Demko should be able to eliminate most of the Canadiens opportunities while the Canadiens defense should be able to limit the Canucks top line with Jeff Petry and Joel Edmunson continuing to play well.