Vancouver shoots for two Ws in a row
Bill Peters can’t guarantee if Sebastian Aho will spend the entire season in Raleigh. Yet Carolina’s coach has no problem riding the rookie in the here and now.
Aho, a 19-year-old phenom from Finland, and the Hurricanes square off against the Canucks tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the visitors odds of -130 to secure win No. 1 on the campaign. Conversely, Vancouver represents a +110 underdog.
While the Canes dropped their opener to the Jets, 5-4, the club’s second selection in the 2015 entry draft made an immediate impression. In 14-plus minutes of ice time, Aho potted his first career goal and constantly buzzed around the net. The organization continues to weigh whether to keep him with the parent club or let him star at the AHL level and not activate his NHL “clock.”
Meanwhile, Vancouver’s ready for its second of back-to-back tilts at Rogers Arena. Brandon Sutter’s OT tally delivered Willie Desjardins’ crew the 2-1 victory over Pacific Division rival Calgary on Saturday. Regular netminder Ryan Miller, however, is likely to yield to Jacob Markstrom here.
On paper, Carolina doesn’t seem quite ready to make the next leap in the Eastern Conference. Then again, the emergence of an Aho perhaps expedites the squad’s path back to relevance. For the purpose of this evening, though, we recommend siding with the home group.
SUNDAY NHL FREE PICK: CANUCKS +1.5