Wild Hockey Game Out West -- Vancouver Faces Off Against Edmonton
Canucks-Oilers Face Off in 2022-23 Season Opener on Wednesday Night
Wednesday night's 2022-23 regular-season opener in Alberta features two teams with lofty but also very different expectations.
The Edmonton Oilers (6th in the early NHL power rankings and listed at 16.00 to win the Stanley Cup) host the Vancouver Canucks.
Unlike the Oilers (49-27-6 last season) who many believe will contend for the Cup and could go all the way, the Canucks remain much more of a longshot pick. Nonetheless, Vancouver finished last season strongly and even ended at 40-30-12, which was 10 games above the .500 mark. The Canucks also changed coaches late in the season, which brought the team to life but it was too late to catch to better teams in the division.
For the underdog Canucks, upsetting one of the NHL's most explosive teams on their home ice would certainly be a monumental statement and further evidence that the Vancouver bunch continue to improve and could be a surprise in the months ahead. The Oilers should have their hands full facing this upstart opponent in the season opener.
In the goaltending battle, Thatcher Demko starts in the net for the Oilers. Demko has accounted for a 67-53-11 career record. Veteran Mike Smith is at the other side of the rink, starting in net for the Canucks. Smith has accumulated a career mark of 299-263-78 in 670 games.
The puck drops at Rogers Place in Edmonton at 8:00 pm MT.
Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
Two reasons to like Edmonton at home in the opener are....Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The McDavid/Draisaitl duo is the best in the NHL.
We see Edmonton is listed at 1.51 to win the game (which returns 2.60 on the dog Canucks). That's a reasonable price with the superior team, loaded with two superstars, and likely to come out with determination.
Vancouver also won't be taken lightly. Over the course of the season, the Canucks should steadily improve and could make the playoffs. Despite our confidence in them, we also believe this is a bad spot for the visitour and a game where Edmonton will begin the season with a victory.
Our pick is the Oilers laying 1.51 as the fave.