Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 4:05pm PDT Rogers Arena, Vancouver
Written by Mike Fink winnersandwhinners.com
The Vegas Golden Knights face the Vancouver Canucks with both teams looking to finish with one of the wild card spots in the Western Conference.
The Golden Knights have a 38-28-4 record and are on a four-game winning streak while the Canucks have a 32-28-9 and have only won three of their last 10 games.
The Golden Knights look to remain in eighth place and possibly improve their playoff position while the Canucks, currently in 10th in the conference look to make a late-season push for the wild card spot and the upcoming game should be a great one as a result.
Golden Knights offense has stepped up
The Golden Knights have won their last four games largely because of their offense stepping up, scoring 3.14 goals per game including 19 goals in the last four games.
Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, and Evgenii Dadonov have scored 61 goals and 82 assists combined to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has stepped up as well. Nicolas Roy, William Karlsson, and Brett Howden have combined for 32 goals and 46 assists while defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore have added 22 goals and 57 assists from the point to help open up the offense.
The offense has stepped up but the defense has also improved, allowing only 2.96 goals per game.
Alex Pietrangelo and Zach Whitecloud have combined for 7.1 defensive point shares and 242 blocked shots while Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, and Nicolas Hague have combined for 8.3 defensive point shares and 309 blocked shots to add depth to the unit.
In addition, goaltender Logan Thompson is having a great season in the net with a.921 save percentage and a 2.55 goals-against average on 365 shots.
Canucks hope offense can improve
The Canucks are having a promising season but hope the offense can step up, scoring only 2.80 goals per game including only four goals in the last two games.
J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat, and Elias Pettersson have combined for 76 goals and 98 assists to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has struggled. Only seven active skaters have scored eight goals or more and opposing defenses can eliminate the top-heavy offense as a result.
The offense has struggled but the defense has been great,allowing only 2.84 goals per game.
Quinn Hughes and Tyler Myers have combined for 8.9 defensive point shares and 180 blocked shots while Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Luke Schenn have combined for 6.4 defensive point shares and 142 blocked shots to give the Canucks two great defensive pairings.
Moreover, goaltender Thatcher Demko is having a great season in the net with a.916 save percentage and a 2.68 goals-against average on 1691 shots.
The Golden Knights have won their last four games and look to add on another win with a strong performance on the road.
The problem is that the Golden Knights face a Canucks team that is eager to bounce back from two rough losses and exploit mismatches on both ends of the ice.
The Canucks should pile on the goals with J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat, and the rest of the forward unit crashing the net on the odd-man rush and overwhelming the Golden Knights’ defense with speed on the wing.
The Canucks should also limit the Golden Knights’ offense with Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shooting lanes, allowing goaltender Thatcher Demko to make plenty of easy saves.
The Canucks should win the game with a much-needed bounce-back performance on their home ice.