Vancouver Canucks (16-19-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (24-16-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 6, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -230 / Vancouver Canucks +205 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Vancouver Canucks look to shake out of their road losing funk as they head into the Air Canada Centre to battle the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
The Canucks aim to snap their 1-6 road losing stretch as major underdogs in Toronto on Saturday night but they are going to have their hands full against a Leafs team that is very talented and multi-dimensional and always seems to find a way to step up on home ice. The Canucks started the season as one of the league’s biggest surprises as they pulled off some very impressive victories but they have been dealt a serious dose of reality and have fallen to 23-50 in their last 73 games overall and they have lost five of their last six games on Saturday night. Jacob Markstrom is expected to get the start here as he will square off against Frederik Andersen who will look to give the Leafs another victory after leading them to a win against the Sharks earlier this week.
The Maple Leafs head into tonight’s game with a 4-1 mark against Pacific division opponents and are heavy favourites to keep that trend going as they are head and shoulders above where the Canucks are on paper and in the win column. The Buds are usually a tough out on home ice but sometimes they play down to their opponents level and are susceptible to coming out flat in games like this despite winning four in a row at home against the Canucks and the home team being 9-1 in their last 10 meetings. However, the Canucks have been the better of the two sides in this series as they have won 14 of the last 19 and should feel confident playing on this stage as some of the young stars of the Canucks will be playing in a homecoming.
The Canucks are 7-19 in their last 26 following a loss of three or more goals and 2-5 in their last seven against the East while the Leafs are 1-5 in their last six on one day’s rest and 4-1 in their last five home games. This one is iffy to me as the line is way too high and while it is plausible the Leafs blow the Canucks out of the water there just seems to be something off here. The better play is on the total and when these sides meet up the offenses take centre stage so the over is the play.