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Oilers Aim To Turn Tables On Canucks in West Semis

The Edmonton Oilers had no luck against the Vancouver Canucks in the regular season, but they are the favorite in the NHL odds for the Western Conference semifinal series.

Vancouver embarrassed the Oilers 8-1 on opening night and beat them three more times this season by a total of 21 goals to 7. The Canucks went on to win the Pacific Division and Edmonton turned its season around in late November to finish second.

Oilers Aim To Turn Tables On Canucks in West Semis
Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers / Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The regular season doesn’t matter now as the teams come off impressive first-round wins. The Oilers beat Los Angeles four games to one and Vancouver won three games without No. 1 goalie Thatcher Demko in a 4-2 series win over Nashville.

Vezina finalist Thatcher Demko and backup Casey DeSmith are back on the ice, but No. 3 goalie Arturs Silovs stopped 75 of 80 shots in the last three games. Whoever is in the net must deal with Connor McDavid (league-high 12 points in the playoffs) and Zach Hyman (seven goals).

Edmonton is -245 to win the series in the Las Vegas odds while the Canucks, who have the home-ice advantage, are +205 to move on.


Oilers Ready For Breakthrough?

Edmonton is 4-4 in playoff series over the last five seasons but is still looking for that elusive trip to the Cup Ffinal.

The Oilers were beaten by the eventual Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in the second round last season four games to two, including a disheartening 4-3 loss in Game 5. Edmonton is hoping they are just a little more balanced in 2023-24.

Stuart Skinner allowed four total goals to win the last three games against Los Angeles, but struggled against Vancouver this season with an .830 save percentage.

Edmonton was fourth in the league in scoring during the regular season and improved from 17th in 2022-23 to 10th in goals-against. The Oilers are due, but the value at the sportsbook for a series victory is not high.


Canucks Net Trio Beating Odds

Many made bets that Vancouver’s season was over when it lost Demko, who won 35 games with a .918 SP during the regular season.

But DeSmith won Game 3 in Nashville 2-1 and Silovs, who spent most of his season in the American Hockey League, won two of his three starts. Silovs became the youngest Vancouver goalie to post a shutout in the playoffs on Friday, when he stopped all 28 shots in Game 6.

You can just tell the moment is not too big,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet told reporters. “He’s calm in the net. I mean, this is the Stanley Cup playoffs, and you’re the third goalie and you’ve got to go in there. That takes a lot of you know what.

Vancouver is getting just enough offense from a variety of places. J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser (four goals) lead the way with six points each and Norris Trophy candidate Quinn Hughes boasts five assists.

While goalies have performed well on both sides, the over might be a good call for your sport betting in this series with all the talent on the ice.


Coaching Changes Turn Tide

Tocchet replaced Bruce Boudreau last season behind the bench for Vancouver and went 20-12-4 to get the Canucks over .500.

This season, the 440-goal scorer with six NHL teams led Vancouver to its first 50-win campaign since 2011-2012 and its first Division title in 11 years. That earned him a spot as a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy.

Kris Knoblauch likely just missed the top three in voting after taking over the Oilers on Nov. 12 and going 46-18-5 the rest of the regular season. The 45-year-old was 4-2-0 while coaching the New York Rangers in March of 2021 with David Quinn out due to Covid protocols.



Questions of the Day

Who will score the most goals in the series?

Leon Draisaitl. The Edmonton forward scored five times and had a team-high 23 shots in the series versus Los Angeles.

Will Vancouver limit Edmonton’s power play?

No. The Oilers were fourth on the power play during the regular season and Vancouver finished 17th in penalty killing. The Canucks must stay out of the box.

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