The Vancouver Canucks are going to miss out on the playoffs for the fifth time in six years – much to the dismay of their adoring Canadian fan base. It would take a minor miracle for the Canucks to get close to challenging for one of the Western Conference playoff spots at this stage of the campaign; attention must now turn to the 2019/20 season.
Defensively, Vancouver have really struggled this year. At the time of writing, the Chicago Blackhawks (254) are the only Western Conference team to concede more goals than the Canucks (118) this season. When you average over three goals allowed per game, you are always going to struggle to climb the regular season standings.
Meanwhile, the Golden Knights are holding onto third spot in the Pacific Division and that may be enough to snatch a wildcard playoff berth. Vegas were outstanding last season and living up to that hype was always going to be difficult. Back-to-back trips to the postseason will certainly suffice with their supporters though…
The road team have won five on the bounce going into this contest and Vancouver will be wary of the Golden Knights’ offensive prowess. Vegas have topped the 200-goal mark for 2018/19 and the Canucks will need to step up defensively in order to keep their opponents at bay this weekend. Watch this space, it could get out of hand if Vegas go for the throat.
Furthermore, the head-to-head statistics are in favour of the visitors as well. The Golden Knights have won six of their seven National Hockey League meetings and all signs point towards an away win. The 4/7 available with 888sport for a Vegas victory could turn out to be a huge price come the end of the weekend.
Date: 10 March, 2019
Canucks Must Improve In 2019/20
The 2018/19 campaign is far from over but Vancouver can get ahead of the game by starting plans for next season. With the Canadian side out of playoff contention, the Canucks could do worse than focus on building some momentum and roster moves ahead of what is likely to be a defining year for the franchise.
22/15 to defeat the Golden Knights may sound like a big price with Betvictor but Vancouver are difficult to back right now. In fact, they’ve been difficult to back all year. One of the most frustrating teams in the NHL, consistency continues to elude the Canucks and progress looks unlikely as long as the failure to build momentum goes on.
Elias Pettersson is averaging one point per game this year and his presence will give Canucks fans hope ahead of this weekend’s fixture. He is leading the team in terms of goals scored (26) and assists recorded (31) – the Golden Knights will focus primarily on stopping him.
Golden Knights Set For Stanley Cup Push?
Now priced at 16/1 with William Hill, Vegas are well priced in the NHL Stanley Cup odds for 2018/19. The Golden Knights have been very consistent this calendar year and plenty of ice hockey fans will be backing the Pacific Division outfit for glory in the coming months.
Those five victories in a row have helped to reignite the franchise in recent weeks. Expect an early onslaught from the road team here – Vancouver’s lack of confidence will give Vegas confidence to attack in the first period. This one could get ugly if the visitors take an early lead.
The Canucks will fancy their chances of keeping this one respectable. This could be exciting from start to finish if everything goes to plan but the Golden Knights may nick it. Back the over 5.5 goals line – there isn’t enough value in backing Vegas outright.
TIP: Over 5.5 goals
CORRECT SCORE: Vancouver Canucks 2-4 Vegas Golden Knights