After spinning my wheels for the most part over the last couple of weeks, I was able to get back on the winning track with a 3-1 night on Friday.
The lone loss on the night came in a game between the Maple Leafs and Sabres as Michael Hutchinson’s NHL struggles continued. He allowed five more goals in what ended up as a 6-4 Sabres win, sinking out Maple Leafs moneyline pick at -155.
Things looked up from there on out. The Philadelphia Flyers thoroughly handled the visiting Red Wings by a 6-1 count, hitting out Flyers -1.5 puckline pick at -110.
The San Jose Sharks also handled their business, taking care of the rival L.A. Kings by a 4-1 score, hitting out Sharls moneyline pick at -146.
Finally, in the biggest win of the night, the St. Louis Blues went into Dallas and pulled off the big road upset by a 3-1 score, hitting a winner at real nice +140 odds.
Season Record: 32-28
Now let’s get back on the winning track with tonight’s free NHL pick featuring the Oilers vs. Canucks from Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Oilers vs. Canucks Betting Odds
- Oilers (+116)
- Canucks (-128)
- Oilers +1.5 (-215)
- Canucks -1.5 (+185)
- Over 6 (-114)
- Under 5 (+103)
Oilers vs. Canucks NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Oilers don’t have to wait long to try and exact revenge on the Canucks after Vancouver marched into Edmonton and upset the Oilers by a 5-2 just last night.
The loss was the second straight sustained by the Oilers as both their offense and defense have scuffled in that time with Edmonton being outscored 9-2 in losses to the Canucks and Colorado Avalanche. Perhaps more concerning is the fact they have been outshot by a whopping 88-50 count in that span.
They’ll hit the road for this one tonight where they have gone 9-6-1- this season, thanks in large part to their defensive play and penalty killing.
The Oilers enter this one ranked third with just 2.56 goals against per game on the road this season and their 90.4% mark on the penalty kill away from home is the best mark in the NHL. They’ve struggled to score on the road where they have managed just 2.69 goals per game this season, which ranks them 16th in the league despite owning the league’s second-best road power play at 28.6%
Clearly, their offensive issues away from home centers around their play at 5v5. The Oilers 5v5 advanced stats aren’t pretty as a result.
Edmonton enters this one sporting a 47.82% Corsi For% at 5v5 on the road, good for 17th league wide. Their 47.31% scoring chance percentage (SCF%) checks in at 19th and their 48.72% high-danger chances for percentage (HDCF%) ranks eighth. It’s a strong ranking, but the number itself tells us they are on the losing end of the high-danger scoring chance share when on the road.
The Oilers’ road defense has been good, but they’ll be in for a tough test again against a very good home offense and Vancouver after scuffling against another good home offense in Colorado the other night.
It will be up to Mikko Koskinen to silence that Vancouver attack after Mike Smith allowed five goals on 38 shots last night.
Koskinen has been good for most of the season but has scuffled with consistency of late. He’ll enter this one sporting a 2.56 GAA and .920 Sv% on the season, however he has posted three outings with a save percentage of .900 or lower over his last five outings.
He has, however, been consistent in terms of his splits as his 2.56 GAA and .920 Sv% on the road is almost identical to his 2.55 GAA and .919 Sv% on home ice.
The Canucks’ win in Edmonton last night snapped a mini two-game losing skid, but it was also just their third win in their last eight games – a stretch that has seen them fall out of the top three in the Pacific Division.
It was also a thorough win. They outshot the Oilers by a 38-30 count and won the special teams battle by going 1 for 3 on the man advantage and a clean 3 for 3 on the penalty kill.
Now they’ll return home where their offense has surged this season.
They’ll enter this one ranked third with an even 4.00 goals per game on home ice this season while their home power play clicks at a 31.4% clip, good for fourth league wide.
Their goal-scoring at home has understandably settled down after a white-hot start to the season. Still, Vancouver ranks in the top-half of the league in most home advanced numbers while their 10.78% shooting percentage on home ice this season – at 5v5 play – is the best mark in the NHL.
Defensively, they are a middle-of-the-pack home defense where they allow 2.80 goals per game while their 30.1 shots against per game checks in at 13th. They’ll look to get back on track after allowing four goals per game over their last three road games before they hit the road for six straight.
Getting the nod in goal tonight should be Thatcher Demko after Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 of 30 Oilers shots for the win last night.
Demko was thoroughly roughed up for seven goals on 39 shots in an 8-6 loss to the Penguins his last time out. However, that game followed a nice outing in which he made 32 saves in a tough-luck 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. He did, however, finish the month of November with an .886 Sv%.
The Oilers sit five points ahead of the Canucks in that Pacific Division and dropping two in a row to them would not be ideal.
However, I think it’s going to happen.
There’s little doubt that the Oilers’ third-ranked road defense and league-best road penalty kill pose a problem for the Canucks. However, Edmonton’s offense has struggled of late and they will still be without second line center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in this one tonight. They have ery little secondary scoring to begin with and their depth is lessened with Nugent-Hopkins sidelined.
Meanwhile, the Canucks were firing on all cylinders last night and did so without the help of their top line. Vancouver’s offensive depth is superior to Edmonton’s as they spot two lines that are more than capable of doing damage. Bo Horvat’s line did the heavy lifting last night.
We’ll need an improved performance from Demko who struggled mightily in two of his last three starts with a nice start sandwiched in.
I’ll still look for the home side to continue their high-octane offensive ways as favorites tonight.