DECEMBER 21, 2017, 10:30 PM ET | SAP CENTER AT SAN JOSE
The San Jose Sharks are coming off back-to-back losses and have lost three of their last four overall. The good news is that their slump pales in comparison to Thursday’s opponent. The Vancouver Canucks have two straight and six of eight. They’re falling apart right now, which gives the Sharks a good opportunity to get back in the win column.
Canucks vs. Sharks Betting Analysis
The Sharks are a sizable favorite in this spot but you have to be careful laying this type of juice with them. They have only been a favorite of -200 or more once this season and they lost. The Sharks are just 5-6 in their last 11 games as a favorite. Vancouver tends to struggle against winning teams, though, and is just 7-12 in that spot.
In terms of the head-to-head in this series, the Sharks have won nine of the last 12 meetings overall and three of the last five in San Jose.
Neither Jacob Markstrom nor Ander Nilsson has fared very well in goal for the Canucks of late. Markstrom has been the better of the two overall this year and should get the start on Thursday night. It hasn’t really mattered who has been in net as the Canucks have allowed at least three goals in a game in seven straight, giving up an average of 4.0 per game over that span.
The good news for Vancouver is that the Sharks goaltending situation isn’t much better these days. They are giving up 3.22 goals per game this month as Martin Jones’ performance has gone off a cliff. He has a 4.08 GAA this month, which is atrocious. That could allow the Canucks offense, which is missing a couple of key pieces in Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi, get going.
San Jose Sharks
It’s no surprise that the Sharks success and failure has been tied so closely to Jones. He has allowed four goals or more in each of his last six starts in the month of December. San Jose still ranks second in the NHL with an average of 2.5 goals allowed per game, but they won’t be in the top-five for much longer if they don’t start to slow down the opposition this month.
San Jose has had no problem putting the puck in the net of late. They have registered three goals or more in each of their last six games overall. At the same time, Vancouver has been held to a single goal in four of their last seven. While the Sharks are struggling, the Canucks should be exactly what the doctor ordered.