by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The OVER seems like a strong play, based on who is absent for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks and some recent trends.
The Maple Leafs are -180 home favourites while the Vancouver Canucks are +160 underdogs with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs are 9-4 in their last 13 home games when they went deeper than -175 on the moneyline at online sports betting sites, but the total has gone OVER in seven of the last 10 games from that sample. The Canucks are 5-10 in their last 15 games as an away underdog, with the total finishing OVER nine times.
Canucks at Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Canucks have a 34-23-6 record that has put them in the race for the top of the Pacific Division, but they are 3-7 in their last 10 games against the Eastern Conference with the total finishing OVER eight times. Vancouver has had slow starts during the first two games of a four-game eastern swing and has dipped to 23rd out of 31 teams in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (48.3 percent), but with centers Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson and recently acquired right wing Tyler Toffoli, they can thrive on converting scoring opportunities.
The Canucks are ninth in goals scored (3.27 per game) and 15th in goals against (3.05). Vancouver’s power play is ranked third (24.6 percent) and the penalty killing unit is ranked 17th (80.3).
With Jacob Markstrom (lower body injury) out for at least two weeks, the Canucks will likely start Thatcher Demko, who has an 11-7-2 record with a 3.08 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. Demko has a 3.63 GAA and .879 save percentage over his last five games.
The Maple Leafs, who are 34-23-8, will be trying to avoid a letdown after scoring nine goals over two divisional away wins this week against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. Top-end forwards Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares, who each chipped in goals during the road trip for Toronto, have a favourable matchup against the Canucks, who allow 3.44 goals per game away from home.
The biggest concern surrounding the Maple Leafs, who are sixth in the league in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (52.2 percent), however, is a depleted defence corps with Jake Muzzin (hand) joining Morgan Rielly (foot) and Cody Ceci (ankle) on injured reserve. Overall, the Maple Leafs are first in goals scored (3.51 per game) and 27th in goals against (3.26). On special teams, Toronto has the NHL’s fourth-ranked power play (24.3 percent) and the penalty killing unit ranks 26th (76.7).
Frederik Andersen, who has a 27-13-6 record with a 2.98 goals-against average and .906 save percentage, is likely to continue in goal, with backup Jack Campbell getting his next start on next week’s California road trip. The Leafs and Andersen have struggled to limit the damage from high-danger chances of late, with the goalie posting a 3.58 GAA and .879 save percentage in his last eight games.
The Maple Leafs visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.