The NHL is set up with another great slate of action throughout Saturday. Six games are up on the board throughout February 6. One of these games will be between the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. These two teams have had opposite starts to the season, but will look for a win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
Vancouver has opened up this season with a record of 6-8, which has them sitting in fifth place of the North Division. The Canucks have lost three straight games entering this matchup and will look to turn it around with a win. Vancouver has hit a bit of a wall to open up this season, but have plenty of time to still turn it around.
The Maple Leafs have put up a record of 8-2-1 throughout the opening stretch of the season, which has them in the top spot of the North Division. Toronto is coming off a win in their last game and have won five of their last six games. The Maple Leafs will look to keep it up with another victory on Saturday night. If Toronto can come out hot in this one, they could dominate once again.
Toronto has had the much better start to this season, but the Canucks are still looking to bounce back. This will be the second game of three straight between these two teams, which should lead to a good matchup. The Maple Leafs were able to dominate on Thursday night, which they will look to carry momentum over from into this one.
The Canucks and the Maple Leafs met up twice throughout last season. Vancouver hosted the first game on December 10. Josh Leivo scored a goal for the Canucks, but it was not enough. John Tavares had two goals and an assist on the night, while Justin Holl and Mitch Marner both had two assists. Frederik Andersen stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced to help lead Toronto to a 4-1 win.
The second game shifted to Toronto on February 29. Tyler Motte and Tanner Pearson both scored a goal for the Canucks, which was not enough for the win once again. Tyson Barrie and Travis Dermott each had two assists on the night for the Maple Leafs. Four different players scored a goal for Toronto. Frederik Andersen finished with 25 saves on 27 shots to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 win.
The first game of this season series was in Toronto on February 4. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist, but once again Vancouver came up short. Jason Spezza had a hat trick and Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists. William Nylander had three assists, while Auston Matthews scored twice. Travis Boyd, Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly each had two assists as the Maple Leafs dominated for a 7-3 win.
Toronto has earned at least a point in six straight games against the Canucks. The Maple Leafs have gone 5-0-1 throughout those last six games against Vancouver. Toronto will look to keep up their strong performances against the Canucks with another win in this one. If Vancouver can come out better on Saturday night, they will have a chance to turn it around with a win.
The Canucks power play has not been strong throughout this season, but their penalty kill has been solid. Vancouver has been able to score on 8 of their 49 power play opportunities, which is a 16.3 percent success rate. The Canucks have also killed off 49 of their opponents 61 power play attempts, which is an 80.3 percent penalty kill.
Toronto’s power play has been dangerous this season, while their penalty kill has struggled a bit. The Maple Leafs have capitalized on 14 of their 35 power play chances, which is a 40 percent power play. Toronto has given up 10 goals on 41 penalties against, which is a 75.6 percent kill rate. The Maple Leafs will look to continue their dominance on the power play in this one.
The Maple Leafs have the edge in this one with their power play playing at a high level. Toronto will look to pick up their play on the penalty kill, while Vancouver will look to break through on the power play. If the Canucks can slow down the Maple Leafs power play, it will give them a good chance to bounce back with a win in this one.
I expect Braden Holtby to get the start in the crease for Vancouver on Saturday night. Holtby has earned a record of 3-3 through his six starts this season. He has put up a .896 save percentage and a GAA of 3.63 throughout this season. Holtby’s last start was against the Montreal Canadiens, where he stopped 34 of 40 shots in a losing effort.
Frederik Andersen will likely get the nod in the net for the Maple Leafs in this one. Andersen has started in nine games this season, going 6-2-1 throughout those starts. He has posted a save percentage of .888 and a 3.01 GAA. Andersen started in Thursday night’s matchup against the Canucks, stopping 16 of 19 shots in the win.
These two goalies have not had the best stats throughout the early part of this season, but will look to improve upon that in this one. Andersen is carrying most of the load for Toronto with Jack Campbell out for a little while. Holtby has not had the best start to his first season with the Canucks and will look to try and turn it around with a win in this one.
The Maple Leafs have been hot throughout the opening of this season. Toronto is coming off a dominant win against the Canucks and I expect Vancouver to look to earn a win in this one. The Canucks will look to come out much better after a disappointing loss on Thursday. If the Canucks can slow down Toronto’s power play, I think they will be able to pull off the upset.
BetOnline has the Maple Leafs listed as a -180 against the money line on Saturday night. This implies that Toronto will win this game around 64.3 percent of the time. The Maple Leafs have been the better team this season, but I think that the Canucks will earn the win in this one. Vancouver has struggled against Toronto the last couple of seasons and I think they will get the win in this one.