NHL Hockey Betting: Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Hockey is and always will be ‘Canada’s Game’ but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the NHL standings this season. The best record for a Canadian team is the Ottawa Senators’ but at 30-28-7 for 68 points they’re not exactly running roughshod over the league. That record is good for 12th in the Eastern Conference leaving them 7 points out of a playoff spot with three teams between them and the final wildcard team (Pittsburgh). Toronto is the worst team in the NHL–by design as they clean house and build for the future under coach Mike Babcock. Montreal’s implosion is one of the biggest stories in hockey. Out West, Vancouver has the best record among Canadian teams at 24-27-12 for 60 points. They’re 10 points out of a playoff spot and heading in the wrong direction (3-7 L10). The bottom three teams in the West? All Canadian with Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary filling up the basement. The current form of these three teams has been dismal. Combined these teams are currently on a 6-20-4 run.

So while there’s hope for the future there’s not much hope for the present which brings us to this game. Vancouver is technically Canada’s second best hope for a playoff team which underscores the sad state of affairs. Vancouver can’t score, ranked #28 in goals per game ranked ahead of only Toronto and New Jersey. They’re also a bottom ten defensive team, allowing 2.83 goals per game for #21 in the league. The power play is almost as bad (17.7% for 20th in the NHL). The penalty kill is the best statistical category for the Canucks and they’re just 14th (81.4%).

This is really bad news against the Sharks who are in a pitched battle in the Western Conference. They’ve got a good lock on third place in the division and a guaranteed playoff spot but would like to move up trailing Los Angeles and Anaheim by four points. They don’t have much to worry about in the rear view mirror (Vancouver and Arizona are 16 points back). Just hard to make a case for Vancouver at any price with the Sharks in good form (7-2-1 L10) and scoring goals in buckets (#4 in the NHL in goals per game and #4 on the power play).


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