Vancouver Canucks (0-0) at Edmonton Oilers (0-0)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 10:00 pm (Rogers Place)
The Line: Edmonton Oilers -111 / Vancouver Canucks -111 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers meet in NHL action from Rogers Place on Wednesday night.
The Vancouver Canucks come into the 2021 season looking to build off of the success from 2020 in which the Canucks were sitting 3rd in the Pacific division and 7th in the West before the NHL came to a halt in mid-March due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Canucks had a record of 36-27-6, earning themselves a playoff spot for the first time since 2014-15, and the Canucks made the most of it by upending the Minnesota Wild in the qualifying round then by taking out the defending champion St. Louis Blues in six games before falling to Vegas in game seven. J.T. Miller led the Canucks with 72 points in the regular season, tying for team-highs with 27 goals and 45 assists while also leading Vancouver in playoff points with 18. Elias Pettersson showed fantastic improvement as well, logging 66 points with 27 goals of his own and his own 18 playoff points with 7 goals. The Canucks lost Jacob Markstrom in goal, but filled that void with five-time all-star and former Vezina trophy winner Braden Holtby with Holtby coming off of a year with a career worst 3.11 GAA with a 2-5 mark in the playoffs for Washington last year. Only time will tell if Vancouver’s young core can take another step forward in the right direction this season.
The Edmonton Oilers come into this season looking to build on a successful season of their own, finishing 2nd in the Pacific division and 5th in the West, but the Oilers’ stay in the bubble was short-lived, despite being one of the two host cities, as the Oilers were surprisingly bounced in the qualifying round by the 12-seed Chicago Blackhawks in four games. Leon Draisaitl cleaned up in the awards department, riding his 43-goal, 110-point season to the Art Ross and Hart trophies as the top goalscorer and MVP of the NHL. Draisaitl is flanked by Connor McDavid who had 97 points in his 64 games last year and after McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 61 points. The tandem of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith will be tasked with carrying the load once again for Edmonton and bigger things will be expected from them going forward after last year’s disappointing finish.
Vancouver is 7-2 in their last 9 road games and 9-4 in their last 13 Wednesday games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. Edmonton is 1-5 in their last 6 games overall and 1-5 in their last 6 games as a favorite while the over is 21-9 in their last 30 games as a home favorite. Vancouver is 2-6 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams in Edmonton.
I’ve gone back and forth on this game as I genuinely think a case could be made for either side. However, both teams have questionable goaltending coming into the season and I’m just not sure I can trust one side over the other with nothing to go off of heading into opening night. The under’s been profitable in this matchup, but I’m going to go with the over as both teams are loaded offensively and I’m not investing too much stock in the backstops early on.