Backing against the Anaheim Ducks at this moment in time would be foolish. Yes, the Ducks are trying to a snap a three-game losing streak but they are going up against one of the National Hockey League’s weakest teams in the Vancouver Canucks. Many punters will be expecting a comfortable night’s work for Anaheim at Honda Center.
The Ducks, 33/1 with bet365 for the Stanley Cup, are sitting on 80 points – a tally that leaves Anaheim on the cusp of qualifying for the postseason. Randy Carlyle’s men are level on points with the Colorado Avalanche and only one will advance to the playoffs. Anaheim are in desperate need of a change in fortune and this is the ideal opportunity for the Pacific Division outfit to reverse their form.
Vancouver are also in poor form having lost their previous four NHL games in a row and the Canucks may start to focus on the 2018/19 campaign. The Canadian outfit are now out of playoff contention; they have won just 25 games this year and another defeat beckons if Anaheim manage to regain their best form.
Both teams will head into this one relatively fresh and that bodes well for any neutrals who are tuning in. It could be a very exciting affair at Honda Center and Anaheim will be quietly confident of notching another important win.
Ducks Looking To Build Momentum
Anaheim fell short against the Nashville Predators last week and that loss against a potential playoff rival may have affected their confidence. Since then, the Ducks have lost a couple of crucial fixtures and they are now back in a straight up dogfight for the postseason. Carlyle’s men will be confident of getting back to winning ways on home ice.
Now a general 33/1 chance to lift the Stanley Cup this year, Anaheim have the quality to go deep into the postseason. Backing against the Ducks would be foolish – write them off at your peril.
KEY MAN: Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf has had to deal with his fair share of injury problems this year but the Anaheim star is in supreme form. With nine points in his previous five games, he is the one to watch in this contest.
He has notched 51 points in 45 NHL contests in 2018 and his return to full fitness could be the difference in Anaheim’s pursuit of playoff glory. He is second on the team in points (only Rickard Rakell has more) and Vancouver will be wary of his presence.
Struggling Canucks In Holiday Mode?
Vancouver have failed to score a goal in their last six periods – that statistic says a lot about their recent struggles. The Canadian outfit are slipping in the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes, rooted to the bottom of the table for most of the season, are within four points of their divisional rivals.
The Canucks have conceded 228 goals so far this year; the worst defensive record in the NHL’s Western Conference. In fact, only two teams have conceded more – you won’t win many hockey matches with a poor back unit. Vancouver have a major repair job on their hands ahead of next season…
KEY MAN: Brock Boeser. The Sedin brothers receive a token mention here as either player could be discussed in this reckoning but Boeser, leading the team with 59 points, gets the nod. With three points in his previous three appearances, Boeser has missed Vancouver’s last few games but could return here.
A fully fit Boeser will give the Canucks an added threat on offense – something that they have sorely missed in recent weeks. At the very least, you’d fancy him to end their barren run of not scoring.
Sorry Canadians, this is going Anaheim’s way. The Ducks are superior in every department and Vancouver may struggle to slow the hosts down if they start quickly. A two-goal win for the hosts sounds about right.
DUCKS 4-2 CANUCKS