by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs are fresh off a break and facing an opponent with little record of resiliency on the road. The Maple Leafs are -185 favourites and the Vancouver Canucks are +160 underdogs with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Thursday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Maple Leafs are 14-6 in their last 20 home games as a moneyline favourite of -175 to -200 at online sports betting sites, with the OVER hitting 13 times. The Canucks are 2-8 in their last 10 away games as a moneyline underdog of +140 to +180, with the OVER hitting seven times. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the last nine Canucks-Maple Leafs matchups where Toronto was favoured, but both teams are currently struggling to limit premium scoring chances.
Canucks vs Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
The matchup is the first in a three-game series with games also slated for Saturday and Monday.
The Canucks are 6-7-0 after losses against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday and Tuesday. Vancouver is 8-14-1 in its last 23 away games played on one day’s rest. The Canucks have a core group of talented offensive threats, but leading scorers Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes all have ratios under 50 percent when it comes to the Canucks’ goal difference and share of high-danger chances when each one is on the ice, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Vancouver is 27th in the 31-team NHL in their share of shot attempts (46.9 percent), 27th in shots-for (48.2), and 20th (47.4) in high-danger chances. The Canucks are 11th in goal scoring (3.38 per game), but 28th in goals against (3.69). On special teams, the Canucks have the 21st-ranked power play (14.9 percent) and 13th-ranked penalty killing unit (80.4).
Braden Holtby and Thatcher Demko are splitting goaltending starts for Vancouver. Holtby has a 3-3-0 record with a 3.63 goals-against average and .896 save percentage, and he was 10-5-1 with a 2.41 GAA and .924 save percentage in 17 career games against Toronto while he was with the Washington Capitals. Demko, who is 3-4-0 with a 3.34 GAA and .909 save percentage this season, has only faced Toronto once in his career.
The Maple Leafs, at 7-2-1, are a point behind the Montreal Canadiens for the North Division lead. Toronto is also 17-5-2 in its last 23 home games after two or more rest days, and that might help the Maple Leafs break their pattern of relying on their league-leading power play to compensate for average play in the five-on-five phase. High-salaried forwards John Tavares and Mitchell Marner are both under 50 per cent in Natural Stat Trick’s expected goals-for percentage in five-on-five situations, but they and the likes of Auston Matthews are facing a suspect Vancouver defense corps.
The Maple Leafs are 14th in the NHL in their share of five-on-five shot attempts (50.4 percent), 17th in shots-for (50.0), and 26th (45.0) in high-danger chances. They are 12th in goal scoring (3.30 per game) and 16th in goals against (2.90), while they have the No. 1 power play (43.3 percent) and 23rd-ranked penalty killing unit (76.9).
Frederik Andersen has a 5-2-1 record with a 3.01 GAA and .892 save percentage. In 17 career games against Vancouver, Andersen is 10-2-5 with a 1.55 GAA and .942 save percentage.
Toronto’s next opponent after the Canucks is the Canadiens, with a home-and-home series scheduled for Feb. 10 and 13. Montreal hosts the first contest.