Two teams that split their season series (one game apiece) a year ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks clash at Rogers Arena in an East-West matchup. CBC Sports will showcase the matchup, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 2.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks Odds
Toronto enters the matchup as the heavy favorite with a -140 moneyline. The line for Vancouver sits at +120, and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).
Toronto is 17-10 straight up (SU) and has earned 3.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 27 regular season matches, 14 of its games have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and just three have pushed. As the road team in 2017-18, the Leafs are 9-5 SU.
Toronto has converted on 23.5 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s good enough for sixth-best in the NHL. Its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and the teams successfully killed off 81.8 percent of all penalties.
The Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized 3.8 times per game during the 2017-18 season, and 3.0 per game over its last five road outings. The teams had to kill penalties just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 31.4 saves per game with a .919 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (15-8-1) has been the primary option in goal for Toronto this season. If it chooses to give him a rest, however, head coach Mike Babcock might turn to Curtis McElhinney (2-2 record, .900 save percentage, 3.07 goals against average).
Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri will both lead the way for the visiting Maple Leafs. Matthews (26 points) has tallied 13 goals and 13 assists, and has recorded multiple points in seven different games. Kadri has 13 goals and 10 assists to his name (and has registered at least one point in 17 games).
On the other side of the ice, Vancouver is 12-14 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.2 units this year. Through 26 regular season outings, 14 of its games have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and none have pushed. This year, the teams 3-8 SU as the home team.
The Canucks have converted on just 20.8 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all opponent power plays.
Vancouver skaters have been penalized 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 6.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Jacob Markstrom has denied 26.0 shots per game as the top option in goal for the Canucks. Markstrom has six wins, 12 losses, and three OT losses to his name and has registered a pedestrian 2.63 goals against average and a subpar .909 save percentage this year.
Brock Boeser (13 goals, 12 assists) will lead the offensive counter for the Nucks.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Canucks, O/U – Over
- Vancouver is 0-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 1-1 in shootouts.
- The total has gone over in four of Vancouver’s last five outings.
- Six of Toronto’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 4-2 in those games.
- Toronto skaters have dished out the 10th-most hits in the league (22.4 per game).