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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction Kings vs Canucks (Thursday, February 29)

Updated:2024-05-01 18:10    Views:81

Kings vs. Canucks OddsThursday, Feb. 2910 p.m. ETESPN+Kings Odds+125Canucks Odds-150Over / Under6-115 / -105Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Los Angeles Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, February 29 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Kings will look to avoid an 0-3 Western Canadian road trip this Thursday, as they play their third game in four nights versus the division leading Canucks. They are 6-4-0 under new coach Jim Hiller.

The Canucks have fallen into a rut of late, and are 4-4-2 after a 4-3 overtime defeat last time out.

Los Angeles Kings

Former Coach Todd McLellan is gone, but the Kings still look like a highly mediocre side on the offensive side of things. They have averaged 2.50 goals for per game under new Hiller. Over the last 27 games they have scored just 2.37 goals for per game, which is the third worst mark in the league. Life won't get any easier with top scorer Adrian Kempe set to miss significant time.

Yes, they are due for heavy positive regression based upon their 3.55 xGF/60. By no means should we expect them to be a bottom third offense much longer. They do not have many above-average shooters or scoring talents though, and I think often can be a team that makes life easy for opposing goaltenders.

Kevin Fiala and Quinton Byfield look dynamic offensively right now, but they will need more offensive support from names like Anze Kopitar and Pierre-Luc Dubois to become a formidable offensive side again with Kempe sidelined.

They lost several strong two-way forwards in the Dubois trade with Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, and Rasmus Kupari all dealt to the Jets. Still, they are carrying a lot of strong defensive forwards led by elite defensive centers in Kopitar and Philipp Danault.

Their defensive core takes a meaningful hit with Mikey Anderson currently on the sidelines, but still figures to be a unit which suppresses opposition chances at a top-third rate.

It's unconfirmed whether we will see David Rittich, or Cam Talbot start in goal for Los Angeles. Rittich has played to a +10.3 GSAx in 18 games played with a .914 save %, while Talbot owns a 4.5 GSAx and a .913 save % in 36 appearances.

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Vancouver Canucks

All season fans and analysts have continued to debate exactly how good are the Canucks, as they pushed their way to the top of the league with a strong, but not elite underlying profile. Their current 4-4-2 run has the doubters feeling good, but it's also fair to say that essentially every team in the league will go through a spell of bad results this season.

In the month of February they have generated just 3.09 expected goals for per 60, which ranks 8th in the league. If we exclude the seven goals scored in their barnburner 10-7 defeat versus Minnesota, they have scored just 2.54 goals per game this month.

We have heard lots of reasoning for the Canucks historic shooting percentage all season, but ultimately it did seem sustainable and we are currently seeing a bit of a crash. The Canucks should be a top-third side offensively despite their modest underlying results, but likely aren't the offensive dynamo we saw early on.

The Canucks defensive play has not been at the same level recently either, but I still believe in Rick Tocchet's crewing finding a higher level of urgency down the stretch, and allowing Thatcher Demko to find his top level again. Vancouver responded very well to its four game losing streak with an excellent performance Saturday versus Boston. They weren't at their best Tuesday versus Pittsburgh, which drew another call from Tocchet for his side to up their battle level.

Demko is likely to start for the Canucks. In all likelihood he will finish second to Connor Hellebuyck in the Vezina trophy race, with his +20.8 GSAx and .917 save percentage this season.

Kings vs. Canucks

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Kings should continue to trend toward lower-scoring, closely contested hockey as they push for a playoff berth. Despite slightly lesser play of late, they still own elite underlying metrics defensively over the season, and they were one of the league's best defensive sides last year.

Their offensive play has fallen off a cliff for what has now become an entire third of the season, and finishing chances is not going to get any easier with Kempe out of the lineup. Their goaltending situation is far from ideal, but they still set up to play some of the league's more low scoring games moving forward.

The biggest turnaround that Rick Tocchet brought to the Canucks this year was helping them become a far sharper defensive side. They have too often gotten away from that recently, but I still believe in the Canucks defensive upside and think they will show well on that front heading into the postseason.

This is a good spot to target the under, and we are getting the right price to do so. FanDuel has listed under 6.5 at -128, which is the best number the larger bookmakers are offering, as it equates roughly to a price of +100 for a total of 6. If you can only get 6 though, I would still bet it down to -115.

Pick: Under 6.5 (-128) or Under 6 (-115)Phone With the Action App OpenThe must-have app for NHL bettorsThe best NHL betting scoreboardFree picks from proven prosLive win probabilities for your betsDOWNLOAD NOW

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