The Vancouver Canucks enter the 2022-23 season with high expectations. For one, this will be Bruce Boudreau’s first full season with the club. Vancouver was on pace for 106 points after he took over in December. The team still fell short of a postseason berth but its resurgence restored hope in what has been a dysfunctional franchise.
The NHL odds are on the line with Vancouver expected around the 92½-point range, which may be good enough to get the final wild-card spot. But if last season’s pace was any indication, betting online on Vancouver to go over seems like the right play to make.
In 10 full seasons as a coach, Boudreau has led the team to the postseason 9 times. He won seven division championships, and a Presidents’ Trophy, while his teams averaged a 106-point pace. So Vancouver was right on the money.
Vancouver Canucks Odds
- To win Stanley Cup: +6000
- To win Western Conference: +2800
- To win Pacific Division: +1000
- To make playoffs: Yes -130/ No Ev
Player to Watch
The Canucks allowed the fifth-fewest goals on average in the 57 games Boudreau coached. However, the team was 17th in shots allowed per game and 22nd in scoring chances against on 5-on-5. The reason? Thatcher Demko. The 26-year-old is to the Canucks what Igor Shesterkin is to the Rangers.
Although Demko did crawl to the end of 2021-22, he is set to have a career-defining season. The Canucks don’t have a notable backup so Demko will be a workhorse and can lead the NHL in games played, shots saved, and other quantitative metrics. The concern is that he’ll be fatigued by the final stretch. But before he does, expect Demko to squarely be in the “best goalie” conversation.
- Player to Watch: G Thatcher Demko
Could Thatcher Demko be a Vezina candidate this season?@FriedgeHNIC seems to believe so as he talks about Vancouver’s expectations for this season.@TonyLuftman | #NHLTonight pic.twitter.com/2TdvOwhrcs
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) September 28, 2022
It’s time for Elias Petersson to go from a rising star to a bonafide superstar. Since his 66-point rookie campaign, Petersson has seemingly plateaued in terms of his production. Under Boudreau last season, Petersson was on a point-per-game pace. At the minimum, he should keep this up and finish with a career-high in points at 80+ (if he stays healthy).
At best? We could see Petersson become the newest member of the 100-point club. Boudreau coached Alex Ovechkin to multiple Hart Trophy-winning seasons. He helped revitalize Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim while Mikael Granlund broke out in Minnesota in Boudreau’s first season with the team. Chalk Petersson up as Boudreau’s next star.
- Breakout Watch: C Elias Petersson
It’s mostly optimism out of Vancouver. Under Boudreau, the Canucks should be a more functional team. Petersson will recapture his Top-50 form while others like J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser will have more consistent seasons with Boudreau. A lot of the pressure falls on Demko in between the pipes.
Check his splits. In the 33 games he won, he posted a .938 save percentages with just under two goals allowed on average (GAA). In the 22 games that he lost, his save percentage was .879 with a 3.86 GAA.
It may seem obvious. But the Canucks cannot just keep scoring to win. This team will either need to improve significantly on defense or Demko needs to consistently play lights out. If either of the two materializes, the Canucks are worth bets on the online sportsbook.
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