Vancouver Canucks at Montréal Canadiens

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The Canadiens and Canucks have been constantly fighting for the final playoff spot in the North Division and both teams have shown their strengths and weaknesses over the course of this season. The two teams are about to play each other in back-to-back games in what can become crucial for both teams’ eyeing to make it to the playoffs.

Canucks have a three game winning streak

The Vancouver Canucks have struggled for the majority of the season but a three-game winning streak and winning six of the last seven games have propelled the Canucks to 5th place in the North Division. Part of the recent success has been the play of goaltender Thatcher Demko, who has improved in the recent games to help a defense that is allowing 3.1 goals per game looked significantly better in recent games.

The improvement in the net with the addition of a potent offense has truly turned the Canucks season around. The top line of Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Elias Petterson has scored 38 goals this season while JT Miller is adding 8 goals to the offense. In addition, defenseman Quinn Hughes has struggled on the defensive side but has 23 assists this season to lead the team.

Canadiens have found depth in their offense

The Canadiens have been in the middle of the pack this season win the North Division with 13 wins in their first 29 games but have shown to be more than talented to be among the better teams in the division. The Canadiens offense is not only potent but a deep unit that is averaging 3.2 goals per game. The offense is led by Tyler Toffoli and his 18 goals but Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, and Jeff Petry have scored 11 goals each on the season.

Speaking of Jeff Petry, he leads a defense that is only allowing 2.6 goals per game. Petry and Joel Edmunson have combined for 4.8 defensive point shares while Shea Weber and Brett Kulak have combined for 2.2 defensive point shares and 63 blocked shots. In addition, the goaltending duo of Jake Allen and Carey Price has played well in the recent games with both posting a save percentage above .900 and allowing 2.5 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Canadiens and Canucks have both shown flashes this season and while the Canadiens are regarded as the better team, the Canucks have looked completely different since Thatcher Demko became the starter. The Canucks should be able to find the back of the net on odd-man rushes with Brock Boeser and Bo Harvat finding goal-scoring opportunities while Quinn Hughes creates chances from the point. In addition, Thatcher Demko should be able to eliminate the Canadiens offense as he has greatly improved his game recently. The Canucks should pull the upset and give great odds in the process.

Prediction:
Canucks (+158)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The two teams are known for their offense and piling on the goals and normally you would want to bet the Over on this game. However, the two goaltenders in this game are going to be able to keep the game low scoring, especially with Thatcher Demko in net for the Canucks.. The Canucks defense should be able to constantly eliminate the Canadiens offense with Demko improving his play. In addition, the Canadiens should be able to keep the Canucks offense limited with Jeff Petry leading the way defensively and Carey Price or Jake Allen being a force in the net. Expect the Under to be able to cover with both teams playing better on the defensive end.

Prediction:
Under 6