Vancouver Canucks (27-23-9) at Toronto Maple Leafs (31-22-6)
|Date & Time||Saturday February 8, 2014, 6:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -131 / Vancouver Canucks +119 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Canucks look to end their ugly six game losing skid as they continue their road trip in Toronto on Saturday night.
The Vancouver Canucks are in an absolute free fall at the moment as the once feared Western Conference powers have slipped in six straight contests and are now playing their way out of a playoff spot. Vancouver has had to endure a two weeks suspension of their head coach for his involvement in the team`s line brawl with the Calgary Flames a few weeks back and the continuity seems to have vanished as a result. Henrik Sedin`s health has also been a catalyst of the team`s downfall as the Swedish national has pulled himself out of the Sochi Olympics and will not dress for Vancouver until after the Olympic break leaving them shorthanded when it comes to offensive production and creativity. This is a much different Canucks team than we have seen over the years and while the John Tortorella era started with some fire it looks to be all flash at the moment and as a team they look pitiful right now.
The Toronto Maple Leafs meanwhile can sense a shift in power in terms of Canadian teams in the league standings as the Buds head into tonight`s contest with the best mark of any club North of the border and it looks like the hopes of a Cup returning to Canada for the first time since 1993 rests on their shoulders. Toronto has had their ups and downs this season as have all teams outside of Anaheim, Chicago, and Pittsburgh but they certainly look like a playoff team and with the Eastern Conference being very suspect aside from the Pens and Boston Bruins the Leafs certainly have a great shot at making a deep playoff run. The Leafs are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and despite being badly outshot in most of those contests they have found ways to win and they`ll look for another here against the slumping Canucks. While I traditionally like siding with the Western Conference teams in this interconference contests there is just no way you can back the Canucks right now and while logic says they`re bound to end their losing ways soon I just can`t do it in this spot. Take the Leafs here.