canucks

Canucks vs. Maple Leafs Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview | Dec. 17

West vs. East

The Vancouver Canucks end their five game road trip on Saturday night with a trip to Toronto to take on a Leafs team that they have absolutely owned for the better part of eight years.

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Vancouver won their first two games on their recent trip but has lost the last two against two NHL bottom feeders Columbus and Carolina.

Vancouver Canucks (18-11-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (16-12-3)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 17, 2011
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Broadcast: CBC, NHLN-US
Canucks vs. Leafs Betting Lines from Bovada.lv
Spread: Canucks -1 ½ (+200)
Moneyline: Canucks -144: Leafs +131
Over/Under: 5 ½ goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*

Vancouver should be a motivated team on Saturday – motivated to go home with a winning road trip record and motivated to avenge two improbable losses to some very bad teams.

The Canucks recent woes is directly tied to the fact that their offense, power play and defensive zone coverage hit a bit of a slump – something that we should not expect to continue.

Vancouver’s top rated power play went 0 for 5 in their last two games and the defense has been uncharacteristically poor – Vancouver allowed 71 shots between the two games, including 41 to Carolina.

Offensively, nobody can be described as Hot after two straight losses but hopes are that Daniel Sedin will return to the lineup after sitting out in Carolina due to back spasms. He has been decent when in the lineup and Ryan Kesler has at least a point in nine of his last 12 games.

Vancouver will likely go back to Roberto Luongo who is 4-0-1 in his five starts from returning from injury. He has turned the corner on the season and is now Vancouver’s hotter goaltender.

Remember when Toronto was near the top of the standings and taking the NHL by storm?

Well those days are in the past – The Maple Leafs have dropped five of their last seven games and are sliding down the Northeast Division standings. The Leafs are enduring their worst stretch of hockey this season but can they rebound to a loss last night with a strong effort against one of the NHL’s elite?

Canucks vs. Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Gambling Odds & Handicapping Preview

Toronto continues to be paced by Phil Kessel and his line offensively. When he doesn’t produce, the Leafs generally lose. He to leads the Maple Leafs with 37 points and has two goals and five points in five games.

Everyone else has seemingly turned into a role player for the struggling club.

Defense and goaltending have been porous lately as well for Toronto. James Reimer is 1-4-1 with a 3.00 goals against average since returning from injury and may give way to Jonas Gustavsson on Saturday. Gustavsson has won five of his last six starts and Reimer is due for a break after starting four straight games.

Dave’s Free Canucks Betting Predictions

Toronto club that has dropped eight straight decisions in the head-to-head series, a stretch dating back to Nov. 24, 2003.

Vancouver is 9-3 in their last 12 overall. Toronto is 2-6 in their last 8 home games.

It is not often that one can generate any sympathy for the Toronto Maple Leafs but Saturday night just may be one of those times.

The Canucks are going to be a mad bunch coming into Air Canada Center. Losses against two NHL bottom feeders should have them motivated to play their best game of the road trip.

Look for the Canucks to stretch their impressive win streak over the Leafs to nine and watch the Toronto free-fall down the standings continue.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks -144

Here are some interesting Player Props for Saturday’s game:

Phil Kessel Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.85) | Under (1.40)

Daniel Sedin Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)

Ryan Kesler Shots on Goal
Line = 3.5 Over (1.50) | Under (1.75)

Alex Burrows Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.85) | Under (1.40)

Kevin Bieksa Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)

Vancouver Power Play Goals
Line = 1.5 Over (1.80) | Under (1.45)

Toronto Power Play Goals
Line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)

Cody Hodgson Points
Line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)

(Bet Now At Bovada.lv)

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About Dave B

Dave B is from Beautiful BC. A Fantasy Football writer for 10+ years. A gambler, and a sucker for an early Vegas line. Loves to bet on the NHL, and NFL. A couch potato wannabe, BC Lions, Canucks, & Seahawks fan. Hope’s for world peace + global relaxation.
Email: DaveB@NWSportsBeat.com
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