My last NHL pick didn’t go down as hoped in a game that featured the Bruins and Blue Jackets from Boston.
An injury ravaged Blue Jackets team that was without their No.1 goaltender went into Boston as big road underdogs and, to me, it looked like an opportunity for the Bruins to lay a licking on a road opponent.
That simply didn’t happen.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but the Jackets tied it early in the third and sent the game to overtime where they would cap the upset on a Pierre-Luc Dubois OT winner.
It’s not the kind of pick that rattles me too much as I would make that pick all over again. The Bruins need to be winning that game over a vulnerable opponent, and it just didn’t happen on this night and I tip my cap to the road side.
Let’s put that one behind us and move onto tonight’s busy NHL schedule!
Season Record: 64-55-1
Let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Rangers vs. Canucks from Vancouver!
Rangers vs. Canucks Betting Odds
- Rangers (+130)
- Canucks (-150)
- Rangers +1.5 (-190)
- Rangers -1.5 (+165)
- Over 6.5 (-110)
- Under 6.5 (-110)
Rangers vs. Canucks NHL Pick Breakdown
Let’s take a look at each of these teams before I get into my final pick!
The Rangers’ four-game road trip got off to a fine start with a 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs last Saturday, however they would go on the top the next to games to the Oilers and Flames while allowing 11 goals in the process.
They’ll complete the trip tonight in Vancouver looking to tighten up their defense, but to me the Rangers are just simply one of the worst defenses in the NHL.
They’ll enter this one ranked 22nd with 3.50 goals against per game on the road this season and have allowed five goals per game over the first three of this trip.
Furthermore, the Rangers also rank 30th with 35.5 shots against per game on the road and snuck out a victory in Toronto last Saturday despite allowing a whopping 48 shots on goal.
Now, the Rangers have found ways to score on the road where they rank ninth with 3.25 goals per game and have scored 13 goals over the first three games of this trip despite losing two of the three.
That said, the Rangers also rank 25th with just 29 shots per game on the road while their -6.6 average shot differential away from home is the second-worst mark in the NHL.
That’s just the start of their horrific possession numbers.
In other words, not only do they get outshot consistently on the road – by a wide margin – but the Rangers also get dominated in the possession game and scoring chance share department as well.
Their road offense has been boosted by a solid 18.8% mark on the power play (T-12th) while their road penalty kill slips to 19th with a mark of 77%.
The Rangers have yet to announce a starting netminder for this one tonight, but that decision won’t play a factor in my pick whatsoever.
If it’s Henrik Lundqvist that gets the nod, he’ll carry a poor 3.52 GAA and .893 Sv% into tonight’s action across 11 road appearances (nine starts) with a brutal 1-6-2 record to show for it.
If Alexandar Georgiev gets the nod, he’ll bring a 3.11 GAA and .918 Sv% on the road into action, posting a nice 8-3-0 record in that time across 11 starts. He was, however, torched for six goals on just 24 shots his last time out on Tuesday in Edmonton.
Don’t look now but the Canucks have won six in a row to vault themselves back up the Pacific Division standings within arm’s length of the lead in a division that’s seen a ton of turnover already this season.
Vancouver has now won five in a row at home as well, most recently a wild 7-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks as their offense stayed red-hot after a lull early in December.
Over the six straight wins, the Canucks have averaged 4.67 goals per game while their home offense now checks in at fifth with 3.76 goals per game while their home power play also sits fifth with a 28.4% clip.
Of course, winning games 7-5 isn’t how they chalked it up, however the truth is the Canucks’ defense has been very good aside from their last time out.
In their previous four games, the Canucks averaged just 1.75 goals against per game and they now sit right in the middle of the pack at 15th with 2.81 goals against per game on home ice this season, although their home penalty kill has slipped into a tie for 23rd with a 78% mark.
Now, the Canucks are no possession darlings themselves as they rank in the bottom 10 in all three of the metrics used above and the bottom five in both SCF% and HDCF% at 5v5 play on home ice this season.
Still, I like how hot this team is at the moment and how well goaltender Jacob Markstrom has played for the vast majority of the season.
A first time All-Star, Markstrom enters this one sporting a 2.72 GAA and .917 Sv% on the season to go along with a 14-11-3 record.
At home, Markstrom owns a 2.65 GAA and .919 Sv% to go along with an 8-5-2 record and just completed a month of December in which he posted a 2.56 GAA and .927 Sv% across 10 December starts.
Unfortunately, I just can’t find anything that tells me the Rangers will win this hockey game.
I mean, they have managed to post a decent 9-9-2 record on the road this season despite the troubling numbers mentioned above, but they are so porous on the back end right now and are facing a white-hot Canucks offense. That doesn’t bode well for them.
Markstrom has been reliable all season for the Canucks, and despite the fact he’s coming off a tough effort his last time out, he’s shown an ability to bounce back and reward his team all season long. He knows he owns them one for the goal support in that 7-5 win over the Blackhawks.
To be honest, I was expecting the white-hot Canucks to be in the -180 range to win this one tonight, so when I saw these -150 odds, I actually saw value.
Again, the’ve been very good at both ends of the ice over their current six-game win streak and their catching the Rangers at a time where they are allowing a ton of goals and a ton of scoring chances, as usual for the latter.
Add it up and I will simply take the home side on the moneyline tonight.