The Carolina Hurricanes remain in Western Canada following an impressive performance against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. They surged past the Oilers for a 6-3 win for their third win in a row. Sebastian Aho had a standout night as he fired home 2 goals to lead the Hurricanes in scoring. The Hurricanes have been heating up and have scored 12 goals in their past two outings.
They were also winners by a score of 6-2 against the Wild before heading to Edmonton. It’s not the easiest part of the schedule for them, as they won’t be home in Raleigh until December 21st. The Hurricanes have three more games in Canada and then wrap up their road with an appearance in Denver next week. All four are losable games, but the Hurricanes are a team that proved last season that they’re past the point of losing those kind of games, though.
They went on an improbable run last season to the Eastern Conference Final. It wasn’t a successful endeavour against the Boston Bruins, but standing with only three other teams was an accomplishment. Despite their success last season, it’s not going to be easy to get back to that spot in the spring. There is so much parity in the NHL that a first-round exit wouldn’t be any more of a surprise than a repeat appearance in the conference finals.
Winning the Metropolitan looks an impossible chore with the Washington Capitals running the show. The Capitals won again last night, as they put a deeper stranglehold on the division at 51 points. Carolina enter the evening at 19-11-1 and 39 points. The Canucks play in the tightly contested Pacific Division. Despite 34 points, they’re only 6 behind the Coyotes and Oilers for 1st. Just eight points separates the Sharks who are 6th and 1st.
The Canucks have their moments and then are capable of doing a good disappearing act as well. They’re a bubble team who are likely going to hang around and need a nice run in the final month to reach the playoffs. I think they are thinking about the larger picture and the future, though. Vancouver are on the cusp of being a really good team, but might need another year or two to get some experience. Head below for our free Hurricanes vs. Canucks pick.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Vancouver Canucks Betting Odds:
Hurricanes vs. Canucks Prediction:
There’s a lot to like on the Canucks. Elias Pettersson is on the verge of being a perennial All-Star, while Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Quinn Hughes all figure to play a role in the future for the Canucks. They also landed J.T. Miller in the offseason from the Lightning, as they were looking to clear cap room and the Canucks needed a reliable left winger. Miller has been a nice piece on the second line with Pettersson and Boeser. He’s second on the roster with 31 points, just two behind Pettersson. I also really like Hughes and Tyler Myers on the blue line together, but their backend lines need to step up and provide a lift.
The Canucks have played well at home this season, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the final score in their most recent outing. That said, it wasn’t a bad performance and the Leafs needed a bailout special by Frederik Andersen between the pipes to get the win. Andersen, who has bailed the Leafs out countless times in the past, put on a show with 38 saves in the 4-1 win. Jacob Markstrom was shaky, as he surrendered 3 goals on 25 shots. The Leafs added an empty netter to put the game out of reach late in the 3rd. Generally, though, the Canucks have done well at home with a record of 7-4-3. Their offence has looked sharp, having recorded 3.86 goals per game at Rogers Arena.
Petr Mrazek checked into Vancouver with a solid 2.60 GAA and 0.903 save percentage. He could improve on that for the Hurricanes to go deep in the playoffs. Mrazek has done his part at home, as he’s been better than solid with a 2.29 GAA. However, his numbers on the road haven’t been too attractive. He enters Rogers Arena with a 3.24 GAA and 0.891 save percentage as a visiting goaltender this season.
The Hurricanes’ offensive numbers slip to 2.88 goals per game on the road as opposed to 3.26 goals overall. Expect them to come into Vancouver feeling a bit too comfortable on their three-game winning streak. Long road trips aren’t easy, and I think the Hurricanes take their feet off the gas pedal in Vancouver tonight. The Canucks played well against the Leafs and just didn’t get any puck luck against Andersen. I can’t see laying -130 in this spot providing any value whatsoever. Look for the Hurricanes to hit a speedbump in Vancouver, which sets us up with good value on the home underdog.