by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ commitment to team defence might mean their track records as a heavy road favourite and in the second game of a back-to-back are out of date. The Maple Leafs opened as -162 away favourites and the Vancouver Canucks as +135 underdogs with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Thursday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto, which defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-1 on Wednesday, has won its last three games when it played the previous day, but is 3-9 in its last 12 games on the second game of a back-to-back. The Maple Leafs are 6-2 in their last eight games as an away favourite with the OVER hitting six times at online betting sites, but 4-8 in their last 12 away games when their moneyline dipped below -140. The Canucks are 2-6 this season as a home underdog, with the OVER hitting five times.
Maple Leafs vs Canucks | OddsShark Matchup Report
Toronto is 5-0 in its last five games against Vancouver. The Maple Leafs have outscored the Canucks 19-5 in the five-on-five phase, where they hold edges in shots-for percentage (50.6), expected goals-for percentage (57.4 xGF%) and high-danger chances share (58.7), per Natural Stat Trick. Their power play is two-for-17 and the Canucks’ power play is three-for-15 over that span. (All advanced stats include only score- and venue-adjusted five-on-five play.)
The Maple Leafs are 18-4-2 after a three-game sweep of Edmonton where they outscored the Oilers 13-1. The first defense pairing of T.J. Brodie and Morgan Rielly were the best unit on the ice Wednesday, earning an 80.8 xGF% while helping shut out star center Connor McDavid. The Auston Matthews-Joe Thornton-Mitch Marner trio is back together since Matthews has recovered from an injury, and Toronto’s other three lines each scored even-strength goals on Wednesday. Right wing William Nylander is on a four-game goal streak, and veteran center Jason Spezza also had a hat trick earlier this season against the Canucks.
Toronto is 11th in the 31-team NHL in share of shots for (50.4 percent), seventh in xGF% (52.5) and 11th in high-danger chances share (52.5). The Maple Leafs are first in goal scoring (3.63 per game) and fourth in goals against (2.33). Their power play ranks second (32.5 percent) and their penalty killing ranks 12th (80.6).
Frederik Andersen returned from a four-game absence on Wednesday, and he rarely starts back-to-back games when he is 100 percent. Toronto’s backup goalies have been stopping everything they should. Jack Campbell (lower-body injury), who is 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .951 save percentage, has not dressed in Toronto’s past two games. Michael Hutchinson is 3-1-0 with a 1.77 GAA and .943 save percentage.
The Canucks are 9-15-2, and have gone six consecutive games without winning while also having the edge in expected goals-for percentage. One trend in their favor is a 17-9-3 record in their last 29 home games with one day of rest. However, the Bo Horvat-Tanner Pearson-Jake Virtanen line is coming off an unproductive night during a 5-2 defeat against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, so the Canucks’ upset hopes require a bounce-back from that line and continued production from the J.T. Miller-Elias Pettersson-Brock Boeser line. Vancouver is also allowing high-danger chances at the second-worst rate in the NHL, which bodes poorly for a matchup against Toronto.
Vancouver ranks 21st in share of shots for (48.6 percent), 24th in xGF% (47.7) and 23rd in high-danger chances share (47.6). The Canucks are 19th in goal scoring (2.81 per game) and 29th in goals against (3.46). Their power play ranks 23rd (17.4) and their penalty killing ranks 14th (80.4).
Thatcher Demko, who is 5-9-1 with a 3.06 GAA and .907 save percentage, seems likely to get the goaltending start after Braden Holtby played in the Canucks’ loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Demko is in the top third of regular NHL goaltenders in save percentage above expected, according to MoneyPuck.