The Toronto Maple Leafs look to bounce back on Saturday when they descend on Rogers Arena to take on the Vancouver Canucks, who are also coming off a loss. As per BetUS sportsbook, the Leafs are expected to come through with a victory as the considerable road favorites across the NHL odds board. But is the outcome a foregone conclusion?
Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks
- Game: Toronto Maple Leafs (30-11-3) at Vancouver Canucks (21-21-6)
- Location: Rogers Arena, Vancouver
- Day/Time: Saturday, February 12, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Television: NHL Net
Leafs Stumble in Calgary
The Calgary Flames dealt the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-2 loss on Thursday night, ending a run of six straight victories for the Atlantic Division hopefuls as they slipped to a 7-3-0 record in their last 10.
The Flames caught the Leafs napping in the second period and fired four goals past All-Star Jack Campbell, who was in net for the first time since February 1. Prolific scorer Auston Matthews had a quiet night while Michael Bunting and Rasmus Sandin provided the scoring for the Leafs while Campbell finished with 21-of-26 saves for a .808 save percentage (SV%).
AUSTON MATTHEWS 🚨
30 GOALS! pic.twitter.com/xr6iwarbxx
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 8, 2022
Campbell’s struggles of late are a worry for the Leafs – in four of his last eight games, he’s allowed four goals or more. In that span, he has an .864 SV%.
It’s being reported that the Leafs are turning to backup Petr Mrazek in net for the all-Canadian engagement. Toronto’s backup netminder has a solid 902 SV%, underscored by wins in his last four straight starts. Three of his last four appearances were decided by two or more goals. Mrazek’s last game was a 4-3 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, February 7.
Canucks on Negative Trend
The Canucks are on a downward trajectory after succumbing to yet another loss at Rogers Arena as the New York Islanders dealt Vancouver a 6-3 loss on Wednesday night. On the heels of the defeat, the Canucks slipped to a 4-3-3 record in their last 10.
The final score belied Vancouver’s offensive struggles. The Canucks were down 5-0 in the first period and the deficit proved too big to overcome. Elias Pettersson and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Luke Schenn got Vancouver on the board to narrow the gap to two goals. However, the Islanders added a sixth for good measure to clinch the three-goal margin of victory.
Jaroslav Halak started the game but after letting five goals on 12 shots get past him, Thatcher Demko came on in relief. In all likelihood, Demko will man the posts against the Maple Leafs.
Head Coach Bruce Boudreau meets with the media on preparing for Saturday's game against Toronto. pic.twitter.com/LSuXPr2yW9
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 11, 2022
Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks. The Leafs lead the series 6-4 in the last 10 meetings, including back-to-back wins last season. The Leafs outshot and outscored the Canucks 9-2 combined in 2020-21.
Although both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks go into this contest on the back of defeats, the Leafs are in a better position to bounce back. Thus, the betting online markets are cornered with the visitors wholeheartedly in just about every aspect including prop betting.
In terms of betting this game, backing the Leafs as the -200 road favorites offers little value for NHL picks. Those looking to back the Leafs will get better bang for their buck on the puck line where the Leafs are tipped at 1½ (+130).
The Canucks are hoping Demko will be sharper than Halak was, but the All-Star netminder has been patchy of late too. He’s led the Canucks to five defeats in his last eight starts, four of which were by two or more goals. Moreover, with Vancouver’s offense struggling of late, he might not get the help he needs to keep the score close.