Vancouver Canucks (19-19-4) at Ottawa Senators (15-21-4)
NHL: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET (Canadian Tire Centre)
Line & Odds: Vancouver Canucks -125/ Ottawa Senators +115 — Over/Under: 6.5
Free ESPN NHL Picks Ottawa Senators vs Vancouver Canucks
The Ottawa Senators get ready to turn things around as they host the Vancouver Canucks at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Ottawa Senators have had a rough season thus far as they are in last place in the Eastern Atlantic division. The biggest and only reason this team is doing so bad is because they boast the worst defense in the entire league. They allow 3.98 goals per game (31st in NHL), 37.4 shots on goal (31st in NHL), 9.8 penalty minutes (28th in NHL) and they kill just 75.0% of opponent penalties (T29th in NHL). Starting goalie Craig Anderson has had a solid career as he has a 2.80 GAA, however, this season he has had no help whatsoever from his defense and is averaging a putrid 3.58 GAA and now that he’s been injured the other options for the Senators have looked even worse. Literally nothing good can be said about this defense and is the main reason the Senators are one of the worst teams in the NHL. Offensively, the Senators are respectable as they average 3.15 goals per game (T11th in NHL) and 29.1 shots on goal (25th in NHL) on 10.8% shooting (5th in NHL). Winger Mark Stone has been the leader of this offense as he leads them in goals (18), points (43) and plus/minus (+11). Stone has also been putting up a career high 18.6 shot % and 56.8 faceoff %. Without him, the Senators would easily be the worst team in the league and now things are looking even worse as 21-year old Thomas Chabot, who leads the team in assists with 28, has a shoulder injury and will be out for three weeks.
The Vancouver Canucks have had an up and down season as they have been unable to stay consistent on either side of the ice. Offensively, they average 2.93 goals per game (17th in NHL), 28.3 shots on goal (28th in NHL), 10.3% shooting (10th in NHL), 17.8% on power plays (21st in NHL) and 47.8% on faceoffs (27th in NHL). When you look at their shooting % and goals per game it isn’t bad, however, the only reason they are respectable in those numbers is because of rookie phenom Elias Pettersson, who is taking the league by storm. He leads the Canucks in goals (19), assists (20) and plus/minus (+12) while also being 4th in the entire league (among players with 10 or more appearances) in shooting % with 26%. Now moving on to defense where the Canucks have been even worse this season. They’ve allowed 3.12 goals per game (21st in NHL), 30.9 shots on goal (12th in NHL), 9.9 penalty minutes per game (30th in NHL) and 77.8% of penalties killed (T20th in NHL). It’s crazy to think how much worse they would be if they didn’t have the option to go to starting goalie Jacob Markstrom, who has been on a tear lately with the best month of his career going 8-1-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .943 Sv%. These are eye popping numbers and exactly what the Canucks needed to turn this season around.
Cover The Spread 365 NHL betting trends
1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
0-5 SU in their last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 7 games
13-2 ATS in their last 15 games
6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games
8-4 SU in their last 12 games
ESPN NHL Scores Vancouver Canucks vs Ottawa Senators
The Vancouver Canucks have been on a good run as of late, while the Ottawa Senators have just endured a tough injury to one of their most important pieces. Even with this game in Ottawa, it’ll be hard for the Senators to pull this one out. Especially with the Canucks playing well on the road this season.
Pick: Vancouver -125