The Vancouver Canucks look to keep it going after mauling the LA Kings in their last outing. The Canucks downed the Kings for an impressive 6-2 final. They’re behind, but certainly not completely out of it with a 19-23-3 record. It’s highly unlikely they can crawl back and compete for a playoff spot, but the young talent on the Canucks makes for a positive outlook in Vancouver. They could be a playoff team a year from now, and should be a playoff team in a couple of years.
As long as management does its job, and the team stays the course, we expect to see the Canucks back playing as a threat. The Canucks are spearheaded by rookie Brock Boeser and will be into the foreseeable future. How he slipped through the cracks to the 23rd selection in the 2015 draft is something other teams are questioning. Boeser spent some time developing in the minors and it’s certainly paid off. The 20-year-old has already amassed 24 goals and 29 assists. The future looks bright for him.
The Canucks hit a snag once Bo Horvat went out due to a foot injury. Horvat is another member of the youth movement in Vancouver. He’s a couple years older than Boeser at 22. Despite being out for a good chunk of the year, Horvat has 10 goals and 12 assists. The Canucks are a vastly different team without Horvat in it.
No one really expect Boeser and Horvat to come on this hard, so it was a safe prediction that the Canucks weren’t going to do much of anything this year and play near the back of the league. There is nothing spectacular about their record, but it’s better than what some initially foresaw. Potential is without a doubt there in Vancouver. The Canucks welcome the Sabres tonight, as Buffalo hits their third city out west in Canada on this trip. They took a couple of wins in Calgary and Edmonton, and have their eyes set on the Canucks now. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Canucks pick.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick
It was a small card yesterday, with only a couple of games on the docket, but we fortunate enough to cash in on the Maple Leafs in Chicago. Let’s look for another winning pick tonight. The Sabres have a pretty poor and frustrating year. They cannot expect Jack Eichel to do it all, but most nights, it pretty well comes down to Eichel. They’ve gotten some good news lately, with a couple of wins on the road, but the Sabres have had just three victories in their last ten outings. They hold an overall record of 13-26-8 and only 7-14-6 on the road. The Sabres are last in the NHL with 2.29 goals per game. They’ve also been bad defensively, allowing 3.38 goals per game.
The Canucks do not have any eye-catching numbers. They are a 19-23-3 hockey team and are 25th in the NHL in scoring. Nevertheless, like I said, this team is very different without Horvat in the lineup. The Sabres are coming off a couple of wins on the road out west. I could see them being happy with that and slacking off a bit tonight in Vancouver. The Canucks will take the momentum they found against the Kings and turn it into another win on Thursday night. With a much healthier Canucks roster, I’d lean towards them tonight against the Sabres.
PICK: CANUCKS (-145)