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Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

ODDSMAKERS: Where to bet on the Canucks in 2017-18

To start, we are not going to insult your intelligence. If you’re a Vancouver Canucks fan, you know your team is navigating through a retool and to try and create a fairy tale about the upcoming season won’t get by you.

If you like to wager on your favourite team, the true facts are Colorado and Vancouver have the longest odds to win the Stanley Cup at quality sportsbooks like Pinnacle. That also carries down the line to the Western Conference and the Pacific Division. Like we said, no big shocker here.

Instead, we focus our attention on more manageable betting opportunities, looking to find ways that can work in our favour. Oh sure, if you want to tell your friends you placed a wager on the Canucks to win The Cup and that ends up being worth a few laughs, go for it, it makes a great story. But our interests are pulling out the shovel and searching for nuggets of gold, Vancouver style.

The Sedin brothers, Henrik and Daniel, are still effective players, yet they will be 37 as the season starts. Coach Travis Green has to find a more permanent solution at right wing for this line, instead of last year’s revolving door. Solve this and the scoring ramps up.

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Leading scorer Bo Horvat did not find the back of the net in final 17 games. Now in his fourth year, he has be more consistent. We liked what we saw from Sven Baertschi (career high 18-goals) and Brock Boeser in his nine-game debut. It will be imperative Loui Eriksson produce more than 11 goals this upcoming season after signing 36 million dollar contract (six years) before last year.

With the NHL more specialized than ever, the return of assistant coach Newell Brown could be a difference-maker. When Brown was behind the bench in Vancouver for the 2010-11 season, the Canucks had the NHL’s best power play. We will not argue that was a much better team, nonetheless, after being 29th in power play scoring chances at 14.1 percent, even reaching as high as 20th, could mean an extra 10 goals and few victories.

Last season the Vancouver’s blueliners were not particularly effective and they lost a great deal of time to injuries, which placed them in really tough spots as the season wore on. With that many breakdowns, the goaltenders were under siege and held up as best they could.

Coach Green will have to find a system that works and will count on Doug Jarvis, Nolan Baumgartner and Manny Malhotra to lead by example and play with more competitive fire.

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Jacob Markstrom takes over the No.1 netminder and he’s been on record as saying this is something he desires, now he has to put the numbers to support what he says.

Last season the Canucks were 12-29 straight up (12-26-3) in the road sweaters and there is strong chance they might not be significantly better in the 2017-18 campaign.

Where Vancouver can improve is at home. Last season they were 18-17-6 at Rogers Arena, which given their place in the standings was not awful.

It would seem nearly impossible they would lose another 462-man games to injury this upcoming year and if they could take five of those 23 losses at home and turn them into wins, that would be a very positive step in the right direction. This is definitely possible with fewer injuries, a better power play and coach Green’s no-nonsense attitude.

After three straight strong drafts, many of those players will be up with the big club in the next few years. That will not help this season, but after finishing last year 2-15 SU, Vancouver is better than that and to expect a 10-12 point improvement is not out of the question.

If placing wagers is something you like to partake in, backing the Canucks at home certainly appears to be your best bet.

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  • “It would seem nearly impossible they would lose another 462 man games to injury.”

    You said it. You can’t win like that. A healthy team and elite goaltending is needed for Van to turn this thing around.
    I can see us making a push for the playoffs.

    • Bud Poile

      Unfortunately,the two goalies are career backups.
      With 3.5 scoring lines and a healthy,veteran d-corps to start the season I see the tenders as the weak link.

  • sloth

    “Coach Green will have to find a system that works and will count on Doug Jarvis, Nolan Baumgartner and Manny Malhotra to lead by example and play with more competitive fire.”

    Good analysis. I am placing a wager with the quality sportsbooks at PINNACLE DOT COM that all three of these players improve their point totals this season. Thanks NATION WORLD HQ!

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks didn’t ice a horrible offense at the start of last season, at least on paper. But there was no depth to it, so that when injuries came — and they sure came — the lineup ended up riddled with fringe players.

    This year Benning seems bound and determined to give the offense some depth and improve the power play. I don’t expect great things, but a bounce back is possible.

    • tyhee

      My recollection is very different. I thought at the start of last season the Canucks were icing a horrible offence and recall ardent fans posting concerns in forums about lack of offence with predictions for low goal totals.

      The opening night roster’s players had scored 170 NHL goals the previous season. That includes some players who rated to improve but also some like Daniel, Hansen and Eriksson whose 2015-16 seasons involved more goals than any other recent seasons and it would have been the height of ridiculous optimism not to expect some slide from them-though probably most would have expected a small slide in production from them rather than what actually happened. Regardless, things were going to really have to go right for the Canucks to do much scoring. They didn’t rate to do quite as badly as they did, but in general that the team didn’t score much was no surprise.

      • Killer Marmot

        I thought at the start of last season the Canucks were icing a horrible offence and recall ardent fans posting concerns in forums about lack of offence with predictions for low goal totals.

        Naw, it wasn’t that bad. The addition of Eriksson, Rodin, and Gudbranson bolstered the possibilities, Virtanen was expected to improve, and Sutter had been injured the previous season and people didn’t know what he was really capable of.

        But then the season started, and things turned to crap.