Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#67 Vancouver Canucks 5.5 vs.
#68 Edmonton Oilers -130
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 9:05pm EST
Rogers Place, Edmonton
Written by Philly Flash

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We have an opening night for both of these NHL teams when the Vancouver Canucks meet the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL North matchup. Vancouver finished last season with a record of 36-27-6 record and lost in seven games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Conference Second Round of the expanded playoffs. Edmonton ended its 2020 campaign with a 37-29-9 mark and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the qualifying road of last season’s playoffs.

Plenty of New Faces in. Vancouver

Things are a bit different in the Canucks dressing room this season; gone are goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Toffoli, Christopher Tanev, and Troy Stecher and those losses are huge for Vancouver. The Canucks did a nice job in free agency, signing goaltender Braden Holtby, Nate Schmidt and Travis Hamonic won a tryout and earned a roster spot.

Last season, the Canucks power-play unit finished fourth in the league while their penalty kill unit ended the regular season sixteenth in the league. Vancouver was eighth in scoring while ending their season eleventh in goals allowed per contest.

It appears Thatcher Demko will tend to the twine on Thursday. Demko finished his 2020 season with a 13-10-2 record with a 3.06 GAA alongside a 90 percent save percentage.

Edmonton Hoping for Playoffs

Edmonton fell short and failed to qualify for last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs. That isn’t a good thing for a team finishing in fifteenth place in scoring but also had the most successful power-play unit in the league. Gone from that team are Andreas Athanasiou, Matt Benning, and Riley Sheahan and the club welcomes newcomers Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris, and Dominik Kahun.

The Oilers were tops in power-play success rate and the penalty kill unit ended the season as the second-best penalty kill unit in the league. Edmonton allowed the seventeenth fewest goals per game and scored the fifteenth-most goals per game in the league last season.

Mikko Koskinen is the likely netminder on Thursday and he’s coming off of an 18-13-3 record with a 2.75 GAA and 91 percent save percentage with one shutout last season.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Edmonton is a slight favorite and they should be. They return most of their main players from last season and that team was pretty good with one of the top special teams in the NHL. Special teams and goaltending matter in the early parts of the season and Edmonton has the edge in all three categories. Vancouver is going to have a good season but I will go with the Oilers to win this one.

Prediction: Edmonton -120

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


The total is 5.5 goals and I will play the OVER in this one. These teams know how to light the lamp and 5.5 goals won’t be enough and especially not in the season opener. We have two exceptional power-play units and they will likely get plenty of chances as opening night jitters lead to silly penalties. I will take the OVER in this contest!

Prediction: Over

Written By Phil Naessens , "Philly Flash"

Phil Naessens is a professional high-performance tennis coach, writer, and radio host currently based in Cleveland Ohio. Phil is also known as “Fantasy Phil” and has a high level of experience as a former professional Daily Fantasy Sports player with 18 GPP wins. He is now solely focused on sports handicapping and sports betting and has joined OUR TEAM to help everyone win on a consistent basis.