NHL Hockey Betting: Vancouver Canucks at Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Vancouver Canucks at Philadelphia Flyers&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Nine game schedule for Thursday and right at the top of the board is this non-conference matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers. This is a matchup between two teams that are hard to figure out. We’ll start with Philadelphia who is the leader of the ‘second pack’ of teams in the brutally tough Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are 21-16-6 which only gets them fifth place behind juggernauts Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington and the New York Rangers. The four top teams are starting to pull away from the bottom four teams. Philadelphia is 9 points back of the Rangers, Penguins and Capitals and 12 points back of division leading Columbus. They enter this game having lost 2 straight with a 2-5-3 record in their last ten games. They have been good at home this season with a 13-6-3 record.

In the other corner, we’ve got the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are still in the mix in a tightly packed Pacific Division and are playing some of their best hockey of the season despite dropping their last two games. They’re 6-3-1 in their last ten games and with 44 points are tied with Los Angeles for fifth in the Pacific but just 2 points back of fourth place Calgary and 5 points back of third place Edmonton. Their biggest problem statistically is their inability to score goals. They’re #25 in the league in goals per game with 2.37. Philadelphia has cooled off since the early going but they still have the #10 scoring offense in the NHL (2.79 goals per game). The Canucks aren’t particularly good defensively either–they’re #19 in goals against per game (2.85). In all fairness, the team was in a ‘statistical hole’ due to their poor start and it doesn’t accurately reflect their recent form. They’re not particularly good on special teams either ranking #27 on the power play(13.7%) and #20 on the penalty kill (80.7%). Philly has a decent power play (9th) but a marginal kill (18th).

The elephant in the room? The Canucks are horrific on the road with a record of 5-13-2. That’s why they’re not an automatic play but given the relative form of the teams we’ll look for the Canucks to prevail.


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