The Vancouver Canucks made a potentially big move recently, as they pulled the trigger on a deal for former Los Angeles King, Tyler Toffoli. Fresh off a hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche in the Stadium Series game on Saturday night, Toffoli will trade in his Kings’ jersey for the Canucks. He instantly goes from a bottom dweller not going to the playoffs, to a team that is in the midst of an important playoff race. The Canucks head into Wednesday with a record of 32-22-5 and 69 points. They were in the lead of the Pacific Division for about a few weeks, but the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights have since overtaken them atop the division.
The Golden Knights and Oilers have both been playing good hockey recently, and they’ve done enough to get into a tie for 1st in the Pacific. Vancouver is coming off a poor showing against the Anaheim Ducks, as they got blasted by a score of 5-1 against an inferior opponent in their own barn. The news of Toffoli coming to the Canucks shouldn’t be that much of a shocker because of the Brock Boeser injury.
Boeser is sidelined for 8 weeks, so that will do him in for the rest of the regular season. The Canucks are hoping to get him back for the playoffs, if they do in fact reach the postseason. Toffoli was acquired to help get them there while Boeser is on the mend. Toffoli was playing on a bad Kings team this season, but did well with 14 goals and 16 assists. He is scheduled to play on the second line with J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson, which isn’t a bad line at all. Losing Boeser hurts, but Toffoli should help alleviate some of the sting. The Canucks are losers in five of their previous seven games.
They defeated the Predators and Blackhawks in consecutive games, and it looked like they were ready to go on a big run. However, a 5-1 loss against the lowly Ducks deflated that situation quickly. All the while, the Golden Knights and Oilers snuck up on the Canucks to send them back to the No. 3 spot in the Pacific Division. It’s imperative that the Canucks don’t come out flat against the visiting Minnesota Wild tonight. Bruce Boudreau will not be coaching the Wild tonight. For the second time this year, Dean Evason will be the bench boss for the Wild. In his first try, it was not a good look, as the Wild fell by a score of 2-0 versus the Sharks. Head below for our free Wild vs. Canucks pick.
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks Betting Odds:
Wild vs. Canucks Prediction:
A record of 27-24-7 and 61 points at this point in the season isn’t what the Wild had in mind when they signed Mats Zuccarello to a handsome deal. There might be some buyer’s remorse with him now, but he’s under contract for another four years, so the Wild have to make the most of it. He was supposed to bring the Wild over the top, as they were desperate for another playmaker to put on the roster. However, that hasn’t happened, and Zuccarello fifth on the team in points with 14 goals and 16 assists. His $30-million dollar contract is supposed to provide better than average numbers.
That’s what the Wild have been this season, average. Pretty well everything about them has been average this season, with no glaring positives to speak of. One of their greatest weapons is Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota, which has proven to be a difficult place to win on the road. But, the Wild have struggled to win games on the road, as their record of 10-15-2 indicates. Offensively the Wild have been vanilla, having recorded an average of 3.02 goals a game for 16th in the NHL. That number falls to 2.89 goals per game on the road, which is manageable, but what really gets bad for the Wild is their defence.
Between Alex Stalock and Devan Dubnyk, there hasn’t been much resistance between the pipes. Dubnyk has a 3.64 GAA and 0.891 save percentage on the road, while Stalock has a 3.42 GAA and 0.895 save percentage. Pick your poison. The Wild have allowed 3.67 goals per game on the road this season, and they have to play a Canucks team who’ve scored consistently at Rogers Arena in 2019-20. Vancouver has posted 3.55 goals per game, while allowing 2.62 goals a game for a pretty impressive ratio. The Canucks have a solid record of 19-7-3 at home this season. That abysmal effort against the Ducks at home was an outlier. After the display they put on for the home crowd in that contest, expect the Canucks to respond with a nice performance on Wednesday night.