Vancouver Canucks (39-28-6) at St. Louis Blues (42-21-11)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 10:30 pm (Rogers Place)
The Line: St. Louis Blues -149 / Vancouver Canucks +135 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Vancouver Canucks and the St. Louis Blues meet in game one of their Western Conference quarter-final matchup from Rogers Place on Wednesday night.
The Vancouver Canucks come in after taking care of business against the Minnesota Wild in the qualifying round, defeating Minnesota in four games with a 5-4 overtime win in the series-clincher last time out. Quinn Hughes leads Vancouver in points with 6 points and a team-high 5 assists after the opening series while Bo Horvat, Chris Tanev and Elias Pettersson each have 4 points with Horvat posting 2 goals and 2 assists while Pettersson and Tanev each have a goal and 3 helpers. Brock Boeser and Tanner Pearson also have 2 goals and an assist for their 3 points and J.T. Miller has a goal and 2 assists. Jacob Markstrom started all four games for Vancouver in goal, posting a 3-1 record with a .926 save percentage and a 2.27 GAA in the series.
The St. Louis Blues come into this one as the #4 seed in the West after going 0-2-1 in the round-robin portion of the schedule. St. Louis opened with the heartbreaking buzzer-beater loss to Colorado, before blowing the lead against Vegas and losing in a shootout to Dallas to close out the round-robin games. Ryan O’Reilly leads St. Louis with 3 points, all of which came via an assist while Colton Parayko and David Perron each had a team-high 2 goals. Zach Sanford and Brayden Schenn also added a pair of assists each in their first three games. Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen split the goaltending duties for the Blues, with Binnington going 0-2 with an .895 save percentage and a 4.10 GAA while Allen had the OT loss on his record with a 0.92 GAA and a .974 save percentage.
Vancouver is 3-10 in their last 13 playoff games as an underdog and 2-9 in their last 11 conference quarter-final games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. St. Louis is 9-3 in their last 12 games as a favorite and 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Western Conference while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. The under is 33-15-9 in the last 57 meetings between these two teams.
I’m not going to be as hard on the Blues as their round-robin record and playoff seed would suggest, as a couple bounces could easily make this a 2-1 team that’s sitting in second. Either way, while Vancouver and plus money still has value, I’m going to back the Blues here. They’re the defending champions and have been prepared for this kind of adversity and I just think a lack of experience from Vancouver in this deep of water won’t end well for the Canucks. Give me the Blues to win game one here and lay the juice.