Canucks vs. Islanders NHL Pick – March 3, 2022

It was a tough go of it again last night as I’m 0-3 over my last two nights.

We looked good for the Preds to win in regulation when they took a 2-0 lead. However, the Kraken rallied three goals in about a three-minute span in the second period which more or less ended our chances of hitting that pick.

The Preds would tie it 3-3 before the second intermission, but an early third-period, short-handed goal gave the Kraken a 4-3 lead they would not surrender.

We’ll look past that one and move onto a Canucks vs. Islanders NHL Pick from Long Island!

Canucks vs. Islanders Betting Odds

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline

Teams Moneyline Puck Line Total
Canucks -104 +1.5 (-260) Over 5.5 (+106)
Islanders -106 -1.5 (+220) Under 5.5 (-117)

Offense and Defense

Canucks

Given the talent on board up front for the Canucks, I would expect an above/average at this point given the youngsters are no longer new to the league. That just hasn’t been the case, however.

Overall, the Canucks sit 23rd in the league with 2.75 goals per game on the season, a figure that is nearly identical on the road as they sit 20th with 2.77 goals per game away from home.

Given the underlying metrics, it’s no surprise the surface results are subpar. The Canucks sit 29th in terms of high-danger chances for/60 at 5v5 and 23rd in expected goals for/60 at 5v5 on the season, as per Natural Stat Trick. Their 2.10 goals/60 at 5v5 is below their 2.36 expected mark, so it appears they’ve at least been a little unlucky at the offensive end of the ice.

That offense has actually been quite potent of late, however. The club has scored at least four goals in six of their last nine games while averaging a cool 4.33 goals per game during that time.

The club’s back end has seen notable improvement from last season, both on the surface and underneath.

Overall, the Canucks actually sit in a share of 11th with 2.82 goals against per game on the season, and while that number slips to 3.07 goals against per game on the road, that’s still in the top-half of the league in a share of 14th league wide.

The underlying metrics agree with the solid surface results. The ‘Nucks sit 15 in both high-danger chances against/60 and expected goals against/60 at 5v5. Their 2.03 goals against/60 at 5v5 is below their 2.44 expected mark but a significant margin, however, so it appears they’ve been lucky to prevent goals at the rate they have at 5v5, but I’ll explain the difference in short order.

Islanders

A lack of offensive output has hurt this Islanders team once again.

For the season, the club sits 28th with just 2.54 goals per game while that number actually shrinks to just 2.38 goals per game on home ice where they rank 30th league wide.

The underlying data looks more fondly upon their work. That Islanders move up to 16th in high-danger chances for/60 and 19th in expected goals for/60 at 5v5. Their 2.21 goals/60 at 5v5 is below their 2.39 expected mark, but not egregiously so.

The Isles have found some offense of late in scoring seven goals over their last two games and an average of 3.40 goals per game over their last five, so perhaps they’ll ride some momentum into this one at the offensive end of the ice. That said, they’re missing their best player in Mathew Barzal due to a lower-body injury, so that certainly makes matters tougher on the home side tonight.

After a shaky start, the team’s defense is once again performing as one of the better groups in the league.

Overall, they sit eighth with 2.74 goals against per game on the season, but their best work has easily come at home where they sit third with just 2.29 goals against per game on home ice. The peripherals are also solid as they sit 13th in high-danger chances against/60 and 12th in expected goals against/60 at 5v5 with their 2.26 goals against/60 at 5v5 more or less sitting in line with their 2.39 expected mark.

The club’s defense hasn’t been all too good of late, however. They have allowed at least four goals in three of their last four and despite posting a shutout in that time, they’re still averaging 3.50 goals against per game in that stretch.

Goaltending Notes

Canucks

We don’t have a confirmed netminder for either side in this one, but after Jaroslav Halak who torched in New Jersey in the club’s last game and without a game tomorrow night, I’d be shocked if Thatcher Demko didn’t get the nod with the Canucks needing every single point they can get at this point.

Demko has been brilliant and easily the main reason as to why the team has yielded fewer goals than expected. The American will carry a 2.59 GAA and .918 Sv% into action across 43 games (41 starts) with a 12.65 goals saved above average (GSAA) that ranks 10th among 71 qualified netminders, as per Hockey Reference.

The work hasn’t been quite as stellar on the road where he owns a 2.88 GAA and .907 Sv% on the season across 24 appearances compared to a tidy 2.21 GAA and .932 Sv% across 19 home outings.

That said, he’s been brilliant of late, turning in a .945 Sv% over his last four including a .942 mark over his last two road starts. Demko has won each of his last three starts.

Islanders

Despite a healthy tandem in goal the overwhelming number of starts of late have been going to sophomore Ilya Sorokin who has starter nine of the team’s last 10 contests.

If he goes again tonight, he’d bring a nice 2.42 GAA and .922 Sv% into action across 36 starts. Sorokin has also been among the better netminders in the league this season according to his 14.50 GSAA that sits seventh of those 71 qualified netminders.

Sorokin allowed four goals in Colorado on Tuesday on the heels of a 34-save shutout in Anaheim two days earlier. He also owns a dominant 1.91 GAA and .930 Sv% in 14 home games compared to a 2.75 GAA and .918 Sv% across 22 road outings.

If Semyon Varlamov gets back into the crease for a rare start, he’d carry a 2.67 GAA and .914 Sv% into acton across 16 appearances. He’s turned in a solid 2.22 GSAA that sits 27th of those 71 qualified netminders.

Varlamov has made just one start since Feb. 12 and allowed four goals on 34 shots (.882 Sv%) in Los Angeles on Feb. 26. His splits also lean heavily towards the home side as he sports a 2.32 GAA and .923 SV% in 10 home games compared to a weak 3.39 GAA and .895 Sv% across six road appearances.

Special Teams

Canucks

Like the overall offense, the Canucks’ power play has a higher ceiling that what they’ve managed this season.

I mean, they haven’t been terrible at 20.8% on the season, but that’s good for just 15th in the league and pretty much right in the middle of the pack. That number is nearly identical on the road at 19.6% which is good for the league’s 14th-ranked road power play.

That Canucks man advantage has been quite potent of late in going 6 for 16 (37.5%) over its last five games.

The penalty killing has been absolutely horrendous this season in Vancouver and just about everywhere else.

In fact, no one has been worse than the Canucks in this department as they did dead last with a 70.4% mark on the season and 31st with a 71.4% clip on the road.

Now, they’ve been a bit better of late in going 9 for 10 over their last four contests. This comes on the heels of a disastrous 5 for 11 (45.4%) stretch across three games.

Islanders

The Canucks still own the best power play in this matchup as the Isles have once again scuffled in this department.

It hasn’t been horrific, but the team still sits in a tie for 23rd with a 17.2% clip on the season, although they do perk up some to a 20.6% mark on home ice which ties them with the Colorado Avalanche for 17th league wide.

The club is on a cold stretch on the PP at the moment in going 0 for 11 over their last five games.

The penalty kill has been strong for the team this season.

The Isles sit ninth with an 82.1% mark on the PK this season and move up to eighth with a rock-solid 84.6% mark on home ice. That group is just 9 for its last 12 (75%) over its last four games but has allowed at least one power-play goal in just four of their last 10.

Betting Trends

Canucks

  • Canucks are 5-2 in their last seven overall
  • Canucks are 4-1 in their last five following a loss of three or more goals
  • Over is 6-0 in the Canucks’ last six overall
  • Over is 4-0 in the Canucks’ last four road games

Islanders

  • Islanders are 3-7 in their last 10 overall
  • Islanders are 5-14 in their last 19 vs. the Western Conference
  • Over is 4-1 in the Islanders last five overall
  • Under is 18-6-3 in the Islanders’ last 27 home games

Head to Head

  • Islanders are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings
  • Favorite is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings
  • Over is 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings
  • Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in New York

Canucks vs. Islanders NHL Pick

Man a lot of those trends point towards the over, however I am looking for a low-scoring affair in this one tonight.

First of all, we have a couple great goaltenders going if it’s indeed Demko vs. Sorokin in this one, and even if Varlamov goes for the Isles he has been fantastic at home this season. There’s a reason why the Islanders are the third-best home defense in the league, not just due to goaltending, but it’s been a key factor in the mix.

The Canucks are in improved defense, but I’m also simply looking at a couple bottom-10 offenses in the league. The Canucks’ brutal PK is a concern, but the Islanders have one of the better units in the NHL to mitigate the special-teams risk.

Both teams are trending towards the over of late with some high-scoring games for both clubs, but that’s not going to last forever, especially with the Islanders at home in this one after playing to some high-scoring affairs over their last five which all came on the road.

I see solid value in the Under 5.5 at -117, so sign me up for a low-scoring affair from Long Island.

The Bet
UNDER 5.5
-117
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.

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