The Vancouver Canucks stay out east after falling to the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout on Monday. It snapped a three-game winning streak, though it was the fourth game in a row where the Canucks were able to pick up a point. A lot has been made of the Canucks this season in a positive light. Predicted to finish near the back of the league, the Canucks are holding their heads way above water with a record of 9-6-1.
Not bad for a team not expected to go anywhere, but where it gets crazy is when people start talking about the Canucks and the playoffs. Sure, it’s possible they reach the playoffs, an expansion team just did last season. However, these are the same people who draw conclusions after just a few weeks of action. The Canucks have some talent, the cupboard isn’t completely bare in Vancouver.
Anyone that follows hockey is aware of that. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson are likely to be the core for awhile in Vancouver, as Boeser already impressed as a rookie, and Pettersson has done the same in his rookie campaign. At 23 years old, Bo Horvat has to feel like a veteran with the 19-year-old Pettersson and 21-year-old Boeser.
The Bruins are never a fun team to play against. They are one of the more physical teams in the league, especially their fourth line who provides a pretty strong punch. They get by on that alone rather than generate offence. It’d be nice if they start finding the back of the net, though, because that would give this Bruins team an immense boost. Opposing teams must go into TD Garden with the realization that you have to match the Bruins’ physicality or it’s not going to work out well. The Bruins are coming off a 2-1 win in overtime over the Stars. Head below for our free Canucks vs. Bruins pick.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins Pick
The Bruins have been one of the best teams you can find in the league defensively this season. They’ve had a pretty good problem to have with Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Both have been playing well, but the standout in net has been Halak. He’s been a wall in net with a 1.45 GAA and 0.952 save percentage in eight games.
Halak has given up just 11 goals in those eight appearances. It’s given the Bruins the better goaltending situation in the NHL. While several teams struggle to scrape together productive in net, the Bruins have been fine in that respect. Boston are 2nd in the league with 2.21 goals allowed per game. They’ve allowed just 1.3 goals on average in their previous six games. Overall at home, the Bruins have allowed only 1.6 goals per game, along with 3.83 goals scored per game by the offence.
Conversely, the Canucks have allowed 3.25 goals per game this season. Jacob Markstrom has had his moments, but he’s also some bad moments. For instance, in four of his ten starts this season, Markstrom has given up 5 or more goals. Then in every other outing, he’s allowed 2 or less goals. So, there hasn’t been much in between with him.
One of those games was a 2-1 win over the Bruin on October 20th in overtime. They’re in Boston tonight, though, where the Bruins have lost just one game, with a record of 5-1-0. The Canucks are 4-4-0 on the road. This is the second game in a six-game road trip for the Canucks. They are going to be tested with four games between Thursday and Tuesday. It won’t be easy with Boeser battling a groin injury. He is questionable to play against the Bruins on Thursday night. I like a 3-1 or 4-2 score in favour of the home team in this matchup.