The Minnesota Wild are running into a crater sized hole at the worst possible time. An optimist Wild fan would say that they are getting it out of the way at the right time, just before they can heat up for the playoffs. On the other side, one could say they’re running out of gas and are going to be slow in the playoffs.
I’m in agreement there, the Wild have done it in the past so why not this year? If they meet the Blackhawks in the postseason again, I must say, they may have to get the lube ready for another round against them.
What’s the solution? Dubnyk has to get hot. It sounds so easy, but in the NHL Playoffs, that’s what a lot of it comes down to, especially for a team who is going to have trouble competing with the powerhouses from a talent perspective.
I do not put the Wild ahead of the Blackhawks, Capitals, and Penguins, as well as a few other teams. So, this is where Dubnyk is going to need to put on his big boy pants and shake off from this rut and play lights out hockey.
Dubnyk was riding this season all the way to the Vezina early on, but his recent struggles are going to put a damper on his chances. However, despite this, he’s still going to have an argument. His numbers still look strong, with a 2.18 GAA and 0.926 save percentage.
It could be enough to garner enough votes, but there’s a guy on the other end of the ice tonight who has a leg up on him, Braden Holtby. Braden owns a 2.01 GAA and 0.927 save percentage, so when push comes to shove, Holtby should be able to claim the Vezina. Holtby and Dubnyk go head-to-head tonight in Minnesota. Scroll down for the Capitals vs. Wild NHL pick of the night. A near-win last night, as we got a winning pick in Calgary with 4 seconds remaining on the clock.
Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild Pick
The Wild are losers of three straight games and eight losses in their last nine games. The most problematic area in their game has been on the defensive end. Note that they have allowed 3.50 goals per game in their last ten outings. For the Wild, hopefully it’s not a slipper slope all the way into the playoffs. Dubnyk has been stellar for them this season, but we’ve seen him play like a different goalie at times in his career, just look at his time in Edmonton.
He has a game that could break or make his confidence tonight, though. A robust performance against the offensive minded Capitals may be just what the doctor ordered. However, get torched for 5 or 6 goals and his confidence, and confidence in him from fans is going to be at a low.
We’ll see if the Wild will be able to compete with this major threat tonight. The Capitals are 2nd in the NHL in goals per game with 3.19. Minnesota trail just behind them, with a mark of 3.16 goals per game. The Capitals have surrendered 2.80 goals per game in their last ten games. Even with the juice on this total, I think it’s better served at 5.5 and not 5. I will take a 5 all day long with two top 5 offenses. I am going to make a pick on the OVER in Minnesota between the Capitals and Wild.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-135)