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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
22-30-4 (6th in Pacific Division)
26-22-6 (5th in Central Division)
Elias Pettersson (71)
Roman Josi (49)
Elia Pettersson (27)
Filip Forsberg (19)
Quinn Hughes (47)
Roman Josi (34)
Luke Schenn (9)
Ryan McDonagh (5)
Elias Pettersson (3.3)
Shots (Per Game)
Roman Josi (4.19)
The Vancouver Canucks will travel south to face the Nashville Predators for the second time this season. These teams first met each other in early November, and the Predators won 4-3 in a shootout. Defenseman Jordan Gross finished with two goals, and Juuse Saros saved 42 of 45 shots.
The Canucks have no expectations to make the Playoffs this season. They have 48 points and are in sixth place in the Pacific Division. They also traded away their top goal-scorer, Bo Horvat, to the New York Islanders. They may find success next year, but they are calling it quits on this season. On the other side, the Predators are in fifth place in the Central Division but are only seven points out of the second Wild Card spot. It will be difficult for them to make the Playoffs, but a win today would be a step in the right direction.
The Canucks roster may look significantly different in a couple of days, but for now, they still have J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, and Luke Schenn. Offensively, they are solid, but their defense has been quite problematic. They give up 4.02 goals per game and might give up more after the Trade Deadline. In case that was not enough, the Canucks also have subpar goaltenders. Their #1 netminder, Thatcher Demko, allows nearly four goals a game.
The Canucks are led by Elias Petterson, Quinn Hughes, J.T. Miller, and Andrei Kuzmenko. Each of these players are very skilled and have at least 19 goals and 48 points.
Colin Delia and Arturs Silovs are the two active Canucks’ goaltenders. Both players did not start the season with the Canucks but have seen playing time since the demotion of Spencer Martin and the injury of Thatcher Demko. Neither have performed well, but one of them will need to step up heading into this game.
The Predators are in a tough position. They can make the Playoffs, but I do not see them going far if they do. Defensively, they are a little better than average, but offensively, they are in the bottom ten. Nashville simply does not have many scorers, which will be a huge problem in their final 28 games.
The Predators’ offense is slow, but Roman Josi, Matt Duchene, and Filip Forsberg have shown potential. They all have scoring ability, but lack the necessary consistency.
Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen make up the two Predators’ goaltenders. Saros is the starter, but they are both consistent and perform at around the same level.
These teams play much different brands of hockey, but the Predators will win this game. Their roster is stronger, and their home-ice advantage will be significant in this matchup. Bet on Nashville.
The Canucks are the underdogs but can win if they draw penalties and play tough defense.
The Canucks have a solid power play unit and convert over 23% of their opportunities. A large portion of their offense comes on the power play, so they will need to draw penalties and get this unit on the ice as much as possible.
The Canucks have a horrible defense but need to step up and slow down the Predators' offense. Luckily for them, the Predators’ offense is questionable and averages less than 2.8 goals per game.
The Predators are the favorites but will win if they score first and have strong goaltending.
The Predators have home-ice advantage and need to get their fans on their side. The best way to do that would be by scoring first. If they do, the fans will have their backs for the rest of the game, and they will have a lot more momentum in their favor.
The Predators do not have the best goaltenders in the NHL, but they are both reliable. Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen have save percentages of .916 and .919, respectively and allow close to the same amount of goals per game. Whoever gets the start must continue to bring his A-game.
Elias Pettersson has taken over as the Canucks’ leading scorer since the Bo Horvat trade. Pettersson has 27 goals and an additional 44 assists. The center is also coming off a two-goal, three-assist game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Pettersson has to take the momentum from his previous game and score at least once in this matchup.
Filip Forsberg has slowed down a little since last season. Forsberg is coming off a 42-goal season in 69 games but only has 19 goals in 50 games this year. However, he is still the Predators leading scorer this season.
Forsberg must take charge of the Nashville offense and put a puck in the back of the net.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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