National Hockey League action on Tuesday evening and we will see a pair of teams from the North Division square off as the Toronto Maple Leafs grapple with the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Maple Leafs enter this game at 28-17 while Vancouver checks in at 17-21.
Leafs Look To End Four Game SlideThe Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the best teams in the league all year, but they enter this contest on a four-game slide. Despite their losing skid, the Leafs still lead the North Division by four points over the Jets. They also have a 20 point lead over 5th place Calgary, so a trip to the postseason is imminent for the Maple Leafs, and it will be the 5th year in a row that they have made the playoffs. Prior to their four-game slide, the Leafs had won their previous six games, and they averaged 3.67 gpg over that stretch. Toronto has scored just two goals in each of their four losses during the skid. They need to get their offense back on track.
I game one of this set, the Leafs fell to the Canucks by a score of 3-2 in OT. They were favored at -408 in the contest. Scoring in the loss was William Nylander, which was his 14th of the year, and Auston Matthews, which was his 33rd. Absorbing the loss was Jack Campbell, who allowed three goals on 24 shot attempts to fall to 11-3 with a 2.24 GAA on the year, including 7-2 with a 1.86 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 19-26 with a 2.46 GAA on the road and 0-1 with a 2.95 GA against the Canucks.
Team Stats & Rankings: Toronto enters this contest ranked 7th in scoring at 3.27 gpg, 7th in shots per game at 30.9, and 12th in power-play conversions at 21.8%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 11th in goals allowed at 2.66 gpg, 8th in shots per game allowed at 28.3, and 26th in penalty kill at 75.9%.
Welcome Back VancouverThe Vancouver Canucks were hit hard by Covid-19, and it caused them to miss a slew of games. They are back now and started with a win after taking the ice last on March 24th. That is nearly a month ago, and now they have a ton of games to make up. Most teams have 12 games or so on their schedule, but the Canucks still have 17 games left after this one. Vancouver needs to win most of those games as they are currently 10 points out of the 4th spot in the North Division. The Canucks are 8-3 in their last 11 games overall, so they have been playing well down the stretch.
They came out of their long pause with a 3-2 win over Toronto in OT as huge underdogs. Scoring in the win was Nils Hoglander, which was his 8th of the year, and Bo Horvat, who scored twice, including the game-winner in OT. He now has 16 goals for the year. Snatching up the win was Braden Holtby, who stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced to improve to 5-8 with a 3.44 GAA on the year, including 3-2 with a 3.16 GAA at home. He will get the start in this one and has gone 156-82 with a 2.36 GAA in his home games and 11-8 with a 2.57 GAA against the Maple Leafs in his career.
Team Stats & Rankings: Vancouver enters this contest ranked 23rd in scoring at 2.62 gpg, 10th in shots per game at 30.1, and 19th in power-play conversions at 19.8%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 25th in goals allowed at 3.22 gpg, 31st in shots per game allowed at 33.8, and0 19th in penalty kill at 78.6%.
- The Maple Leafs are 3-13 in the last 16 meetings in Vancouver
Trends Are Courtesy of Covers.com Vancouver is:
- The Canucks are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- The Home team is 21-5 in the last 26 meetings
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Canucks had an emotional win on Sunday evening as it was at the end of a long pause for them. Vancouver has been playing well of late, having won eight of their last 11 games and the Maple Leafs have struggled in losing their last four games. I feel that the Canucks could win this game out outright and if they don't then at least keep it to within one goal. Braden Holtby got the win in game one and he has gone 11-8 with a 2.57 GAA against the Canucks in his career. The break has rejuvenated the Canucks and I see them at least keeping this one close.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Maple Leafs have struggled to score of late as they have put up just eight goals in their last four games. Vancouver has not been great in the crease overall this year but Holtby allowed only two goals in game one and he has a solid 2.57 GAA against the Maple Leafs in his career. Vancouver has not been a great offensive team this year and Jack Campbell has been solid, especially on the road where he has 1.86 GAA on the year. Lastly, the Under is 7-2 in Toronto's last 9 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game and 8-1-1 in Vancouver's last 10 games playing on 1 days rest, plus 12-1 in the last 13 games in this series.