Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks

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The reeling Canucks have lost five of their last six games and they play host to a Maple Leafs team that is in first place in the North Division.

The Maple Leafs have won four in a row and seven of their last eight games. Not only does the team lead the North Division but they have the most points in the NHL by a fairly large margin. Toronto has been more than solid on both sides of the ice on the season and they lead the league averaging 3.63 goals per game.

The Canucks have dropped four of their last five games and are only three points out of the basement in the North Division. They are not a high scoring team and that has hurt them with a defense that has struggled all season giving up an average of 3.46 goals per game.

All three games between these teams this season were in Toronto where the Leafs won all three outscoring the Canucks 15-5.

Hot, Hot, Leafs

The Maple Leafs are hot winners of four in a row, have outscored their opponents 15-2 in that span, and are coming off a 6-1 road blowout over the Edmonton Oilers. In that win Toronto scored four goals in the second period, Jim Vessey lit the lamp twice, and Jason Spezza had three assists.

Frederik Andersen (12-3-2 2.59 GAA) was in the net after missing a few games due to injury and he stopped 26 of 27 shots. Michael Hutchinson (3-1 1.77 GAA) may get the call in this game and he has played great in the last two starts where he only allowed one goal.

Auston Matthews is an MVP candidate that leads the NHL with 18 goals and ranks fifth in points. He is nursing a minor wrist injury and while he has not scored a goal in the last three games he has four goals and six assists in his last five games. Mitchell Marner ranks fourth in the league in points and has one goal and three assists in the last five games. He tore up the Canucks in the three-game sweep over them early last month with a goal and six assists. Three players for Toronto have double digits in goals and the team is an NHL best 9-1-1 on the road.

Can’t Build on Shutout

After beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-0, the Canucks lost to them in their last game 5-2. Vancouver had the lead in the first and second period but was outscored 2-0 in the third period. Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each scored in the losing effort and Braden Holtby (4-6-1 3.56 GAA) gave up four goals on 38 shots. He has given up four goals in each of his last two starts. Thatcher Demko (5-9-1 3.06 GAA) may go in this game and has played pretty well as of late coming off a shutout win in his last start and in three of his last four starts has given up two goals or less.

Brock Boeser leads the Canucks with 12 goals and 25 points and while he has not lit the lamp in his last six games he does have three assists in the last two games. Pettersson has 21 points (10 goals 11 assists) and has been on a tear as of late with five goals and two assists in his last five games.

On the season the Canucks are 5-6-2 at home.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Canucks have won 10 of their last 12 home games against the Maple Leafs and this is their first time hosting them this season. However, the Leafs have won their last five games against them, overall, and swept them in a three-game series early last month outscoring Vancouver 15-5. To say this is not a good matchup for the Canucks is an understatement. They rank third to last in the league giving up an average of 3.46 goals per game, gave up five goals in their last game, and face a hot Maple Leafs team that leads the NHL averaging 3.63 goals per game. Toronto will stay hot and pepper the struggling Canucks and win and extend their winning streak to five games.

Prediction:
Maple Leafs -160

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Man, do the head-to-head trends point to the Under in this one. That has been the winning pick in nine of the last 10 games between these teams and in the last four games between them in Vancouver. I am bucking the trends in this one taking the Over, as I think the Maple Leafs will kill it on the attack facing a Canucks’ D that ranks third to last in the league and gave up five goals in their last game. I do not see Vancouver being shut out on home ice, they have scored six goals in their last two games, but they will not light the lamp often. That cannot be said about Toronto, who will light up Vancouver, which is the reason the Over is the pick in this game.

Prediction:
Over