The Vancouver Canucks will look to continue their playoff push tonight as they take on the league’s best team in the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. This is the beginning of a very important four-game, six-day road trip for the 11th place Canucks that goes to Minnesota tomorrow.
Are the Avs still the best home team in all of hockey despite dropping three of their past eight on home ice? Can Bruce Boudreau carry the Canucks to the postseason with under 20 games left? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Canucks vs. Avalanche.
Canucks vs Avalanche odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Avalanche opened up as -250 home favorites, dipped to -245, and then gained a little steam and moved to -255 with a total of 6.0 that could hit 6.5. The Canucks got embarrassed the last time they were in Colorado in a 7-1 loss where they closed as +160 dogs with a total of 5.5.
Canucks vs Avalanche predictions
Predictions made on 3/23/2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Canucks vs Avalanche game info
• Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
• Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
• Puck drop: 9:30 p.m. ET
• TV: Sportsnet, ALT
Canucks vs Avalanche betting preview
Canucks: Tucker Poolman D (Out), Nils Hoglander F (Questionable).
Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog F (Out), Ryan Murray D (Out), Sam Girard D (Out), Bowen Byram D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Canucks vs Avalanche head-to-head record since 2017-18
Canucks: 4-6 SU, 36 goals for.
Avalanche: 6-4 SU, 40 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Avalanche are 45-8 SU in their last 53 home games. Find more NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Avalanche.
Canucks vs Avalanche picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Puck line analysis
The Avalanche have spent most of the season at the top of the NHL standings and haven’t had to deal with too much adversity. They have a .819 point percentage since January 1 which is tops in the league with a 28-5-3 record.
They're without Gabriel Landeskog who has been out since March 10 but it hasn't slowed them down as they're 5-0 straight up without their captain.
Colorado was great at the beginning of the season and has been nearly unstoppable since the calendar hit 2022 (unless you’re Arizona) and it hasn't let key injuries slow it down.
We know the Avs are the much better team in this matchup, but the real question is: Is there any value on the Canucks here at +225 on the road versus a team that is 25-3-3 on home ice?
Over the last six weeks, the Canucks have been a Top-10 team in terms of point percentage with a 9-5-2 record and a plus 0.44 goal differential per game.
The offense is scoring 3.75 goals per game over that stretch which is the fourth-best mark in hockey while tonight’s likely starter, Thatcher Demko, can steal games and shows flashes of being a Top-5 goalie in the league. However, things haven’t been going swimmingly for Vancouver in its last handful of games.
Bruce Boudreau’s club is 1-5 SU in its last six including losses to the Sabres and getting shut out, 1-0, at the hands of the Red Wings. The once potent offense has scored just four goals over its last three games and now sees itself as a +225 road dog, which is the longest it’s been all season.
Being a -275 home favorite is nothing new to Colorado, however. they were -305 home favorites versus the Islanders two weeks ago and -275 against the Jets at home before that.
This +225 price might seem long on the Vancouver side, but this is the price of business when backing the best team in hockey at home.
Demko has made nine straight starts and should likely get the nod again today for the Canucks against a Colorado offense that is scoring over 4.00 gpg on home ice.
Demko is 4-5 SU in those nine games and has allowed three or more goals in seven of his outings. He’s been playing a ton of hockey lately, including back-to-backs, but owns a 2.93 GAA on the road and has dropped five of his last six starts.
He and the Canucks will have their hands full against an offense that is red-hot on the power play and has scored six times in its last 10 opportunities spanning four games. Making things even worse for the visitors is their penalty kill is the worst in hockey and gave up three power-play goals to Colorado in the last meeting.
Compounding Vancouver's possible problems tonight will be how difficult it will be to score. Darcy Kuemper is the confirmed starter for the home side and the goaltender is 3-1 SU in his last four games and has surrendered just four goals including a pair of shutouts versus the Kings and Flames. Kuemper is an impressive 17-2-1 at home this season with a 2.3 GAA and a .924 SV%.
Colorado has the advantage in offense, defense, special teams, and in the crease.
The Avalanche dominated the previous meeting at home, 7-1, and chased Demko after two periods after scoring six goals on 26 shots. Vancouver also has to hit the road immediately after this game as it has to play in Minnesota tomorrow.
Prediction: Avalanche -1.5 (-105)
The Canucks had been cashing Overs at a steady rate of late including a 13-1 O/U stretch from February 1 to March 11.
Since then, Vancouver is 2-3 O/U and has scored just 11 goals over those five games which is a big difference from leading the league in goals, which they were doing two weeks ago.
It’s not a great time for the offense to get cold as the Avs sit in the Top 10 in GAA at home with a mark of 2.48. Scoring against them has become almost impossible lately, as the team has given up just seven goals over their last five games including two shutouts.
Now that they are getting solid goaltending, this has become the scariest team in hockey and is the reason why they are the clear-cut betting favorite to win it all.
Colorado has gone 4-1 to the Under over its last five games and without its top-line forward in Landeskog, this team has tightened things down even further it seems. it added Josh Manson to the blue line and arguably has the best six defensemen in any lineup.
At 5-on-5, the Avalanche are as stingy as any team in hockey and sit in the Top 5 in goals against and xgoals against. Add in a penalty kill that has improved of late and is a perfect 18 for its last 18.
They haven't been running up the score lately either, as the Avalanche has scored more than three goals just three times over their last 11 games. This is a team that knows it needs to tighten things up when it comes to winning playoff games.
Neither offense is coming in real hot and Kuemper is in his best form of the season. The new Colorado defense is also gelling while the Canucks seem to be past their previous Over tear. We’d love this at 6.5 but there’s a reason why this total hasn’t fallen off the 6.0 yet.
Prediction: Under 6 (+110)
The Canucks are still a 15-16 SU club since January 1 with a negative goal differential on the road. This is one of the streakiest teams in all of hockey but enters tonight’s matchup 1-4 SU in their last five.
Vancouver has lost consecutive games to Buffalo, Calgary, and Detroit at home and now begins a gauntlet of a road trip that starts in the toughest barn in hockey.
The Canucks are a great cinderella story but this is still a team that sits 11th in the West and sold some pieces at the deadline. Demko has been overused and this penalty kill could easily give up another three goals just like the previous meeting.
Colorado can cover this game by scoring as few as three goals as two of its recent five games prove.
Pick: Avalanche -1.5 (-105)
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