Canucks,Maple Leafs,NHL Picks
2/18/2012 8:36:00 AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had poor luck against the Vancouver Canucks, having lost each of the past nime matchups. Will they be able to put an end to this streak tonight? NHL odds makers think not, but should we?
The Toronto Maple Leafs want to believe they’re a playoff
team. They’d love it even more so if their fans, bettors and touts
believed they were a playoff team. Unfortunately, the reality has proven to be
Entering Saturday’s schedule, the Leafs are clinging to
the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The way they’re
playing these days, even qualifying for the eighth seed will be nothing more
than a symbolic one-round appearance.
They have just one win in their last five and are
struggling in net. They look like a fading boxer and a visit to Vancouver isn’t
what the doctor ordered. Hopefully General Manager Brian Burke is working the
phones to make an acquisition because the Leafs need a boost in the worst way.
NHL odds boards list the Canucks at -185 with a total of 5.5, and early sports betting action has left the numbers unchanged. Will the Canucks continue to dominate the series tonight, or will Toronto fine a way to pull off the upset? Lets decide which NHL picks we are worth putting our money on.
The Toronto Maple Leafs can win because…
The Vancouver Canucks are an unreliable sports betting pick as a huge favorite.
Even though recently they’ve been a little more reliable, the reality is that
they’ve been barely squeaking by. Seven of the Canucks last 11 games have gone
That indicates that Toronto should find themselves with a
shot to win – even if there is a significant disparity between the teams.
The Leafs got a boost from Tim Connolly in their latest
contest as he scored the overtime winner against Edmonton. That was just his
first goal in 18 games but he’s a talented center and that woke him up, the
Leafs could be beneficiaries to some supplementary scoring. They need someone
from the second or third lines to step up as they can’t seem to beat elite
teams when that’s not the case.
The Vancouver Canucks can win because…
They own this series. They’ve won nine straight over the
Toronto Maple Leafs and there’s little reason to believe that trend will change
The Vancouver Canucks are playing great these days as they haven’t
lost in regulation in over a month. They are 8-0-3 in their last 11 games
whereas the Leafs have just two wins in their last six and both have come at
the expense of the lowly Edmonton Oilers.
Much of the dominance in this series can be attested to
the goaltending of Roberto Luongo. He’s 12-6-2 against Toronto with a 2.40 GAA
and a .925 save percentage. He’s been in net seven times during the Canucks
nine-game winning streak over Toronto.
The Leafs have been very leaky defensively as they’ve
given up 17 goals in their last four games. The Canucks, who lead the Western
Conference in goals per game, will be licking their chops.
Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:
The Leafs are showing their true colors down the stretch
of the season. As All-Stars Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul receive more
defensive attention, the Leafs are showing that they really don’t have the
secondary scoring necessary to take the pressure off.
The Canucks also have a huge edge in net and maybe
freshness as well. They’ve had a couple of days off at home while the Maple
Leafs will be finishing up their three-game west coast swing in Vancouver on
Saturday. Take the Canucks.
NHL Picks: Canucks