NHL Betting Guide: Monday 1/25/21

After a busy Sunday in the NHL, we are left with only one game on the Monday night docket. It was a pretty evenly split day, with seven of 12 favorites and seven of 12 unders cashing.

We're getting a little exotic with tonight's wagers!

Vancouver Canucks vs Ottawa Senators

Tonight's only matchup features a pair of Canadian teams in the basement of the NHL North division when the Vancouver Canucks host the Ottawa Senators. If you're looking for an exciting hockey game, you might have to wait until Tuesday.

Both of these teams have been atrocious defensively, although the Canucks have been worse. Vancouver ranks last in most defensive metrics, giving up a ton of shots and chances against, which has been compounded by terrible goaltending by Braden Holtby and Thatcher Demko. Special teams have been costing the Canucks as well, as they have the 25th ranked penalty kill and have scored only four powerplay goals on the season. The most telling metric to describe how the Canucks' season is going is this; They have posted a negative expected goals-for in 16 of the 21 periods they have played this season.

Ottawa has been better defensively, although they still give up more than they create. Across all strengths, the Senators have posted a 43.6% Corsi rating, a 45.9% shots-for rating, and a 44.4% scoring chance rating. The one thing that we can give the Sens credit for is they do create more high-danger chances than they give up, albeit by a small margin.

With two defensively inept teams, you might expect things to get carried away offensively, but I suspect we'll see the opposite in tonight's game. Both teams recognize goaltending and defensive structure are issues that need to be addressed. Tonight is that opportunity to tighten things up before the season gets out of hand.

Nate Schmidt has been one of the Canucks' primary defenders in their defensive zone. This season, 76.6% of his starts have come in the defensive zone and he has 13 blocks through seven games, with at least 2 blocks in four of those games. FanDuel Sportsbook has Nate Schmidt's blocked shots proposition set at 1.5 with the over at +116. Consider getting on that prop as the Canucks try to limit the number of shots that their goaltenders face.

The Canucks will also be hoping to get their power-play going against an inferior Sens' penalty kill. J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes tied for the team lead in power-play points last season with 25 apiece. Both players have plus-money listed on their powerplay points proposition, Miller is listed at +205 with Hughes priced at +225. Both of those bets are worth making against an overly-aggressive Senators' penalty kill.

The last proposition comes in the form of the 1st period moneyline. The Senators have come out in their last three games with something to prove, posting an expected goals-for percentage above 64.0% in all three. Considering the doormat that the Canucks have been over their last 15 periods, outscoring their opponents just twice at five-on-five just over that span. There's value in taking Ottawa +210 on the first-period moneyline.