The Vancouver Canucks (9-15-2) will begin a five game home stand on Thursday night when they host the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs (18-4-2) at Rogers Arena. Join me and Corey Hirsch for the call of the action at 7:00pm on Sportsnet 650 and the Sportsnet Radio Network. Andrew Walker and Satiar Shah will host the Land Rover Pre-Game Show starting at 5:00pm. We’ll have instant analysis at the intermissions, and Sat will host the Kintec Footwear and Orthotics Canucks Central Post-Game Show with Craig MacEwen after the final horn.
Listen to game day coverage on Sportsnet 650 AM or 96.9 HD channel 3. You can also listen online on Sportsnet.ca/650, through the Sportsnet app or stream the game on your smart speaker. Just say, “play Sportsnet 650.”
The Canucks are 0-3-0 against the Leafs this season. Toronto has outscored Vancouver 15-5. Mitch Marner leads all players in scoring in the season series with seven points (one goal, six assists).
Vancouver is 1-4-1 in the last six games after Tuesday’s 5-2 loss in Winnipeg. The Canucks are 2-10-2 in games where they concede a power play goal this season and 0-13-0 in games where they give up the first goal. Vancouver’s penalty kill has given up a goal in four of the last five games, going 11-for-16 (68.8%) in that stretch. The Canucks have lost their last five straight home games. Quinn Hughes still leads all NHL defensemen in points (22) and assists (20) but has just one assist in his last four games. Hughes also has the second worst plus-minus (-15) in the NHL.
The Maple Leafs have won four games in a row and seven of their last eight contests after a 6-1 win in Edmonton on Wednesday evening. Toronto has earned 38 points thus far this season which is the most in franchise history through the first 24 games of a season. The Leafs have scored more goals (87), goals per game (3.63) and power play goals (25) than any other team in the league. Toronto boasts the NHL’s second best man advantage, running at a sparkling 32.5%. The Maple Leafs power play has gone 4-for-10 (40%) in its last three games. Toronto has conceded two goals in its last 257:40 of hockey.
Canucks forward Elias Pettersson has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his last five games. Toronto’s William Nylander is on a four game point streak with five goals and one assist in that span.
Vancouver captain Bo Horvat has one point in the last six games. Maple Leafs winger Alex Kerfoot has failed to hit the score sheet in his last five games.
– Vancouver forward J.T. Miller
“We’re not in a position to be splitting two game series. We need to win. We can fall back on that we’ve been playing pretty darn well for the last couple of weeks, three weeks, but we have to win games right now. We want to be in the playoffs, and we’re on the outside looking in.”
– Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe on Toronto’s three-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers
“We feel really good about the results, and how we handled leads, how we built leads. A lot of really good things came out of this series for us. We knew coming in, we were playing against a very good team that was as hot or hotter than any team in the NHL and coming in with lots of confidence, so for us to get results like this, it’s a really good and healthy sign.”
Canucks Tuesday Lines vs. Winnipeg
Maple Leafs Wednesday Lines vs. Edmonton