Well folks, that was our best night of the NHL season so far as we enjoyed a clean 3-0 sweep with our picks, and for the most part, it wasn’t even that close.
The easiest pick of the night was our Hurricanes puckline (-1.5) pick at +120 as they took on a beat up Predators defense. As expected, the ‘Canes offense dominated, scoring three first-period goals and that would be more than enough as they cruised to a 5-1 victory and netted us a healthy 1.2-unit profit in the process.
We hit another plus-money pick with the Capitals on the moneyline at +107 in Philly. The Caps opened the scoring and actually took a 4-1 lead into the third, but a couple of third-period goals from the Flyers had me sweating a little bit, but an empty-net goal with less than 30 seconds left sealed a 5-3 Capitals win and banked us another 1.07 units in the process.
Finally, we had the Calgary Flames at -105 on the moneyline (they were +101 earlier in the day) to win their first game with Daryl Sutter behind the bench over a tired Montreal team. It was probably closer than I thought, but the Flames took a 2-0 lead late into the third and while the Habs scored a late marker, the Flames held on for a 2-1 win, giving another unit’s worth of profit.
Add it up and the 3-0 night earned us a 3.27-unit profit as we sit just under the profit line for the season as we continue to dig ourselves out of a big, early-season rut.
Let’s keep the good times rolling with this Coyotes vs. Wild NHL Pick from Minnesota!
- Season Record: 23-23
- Units: -0.61
Coyotes vs. Wild Betting Odds
- Coyotes (+160)
- Wild (-178)
- Coyotes +1.5 (-160)
- Wild -1.5 (+140)
- Over 5.5 (+117)
- Under 5.5 (-120)
Coyotes vs. Wild NHL Pick Breakdown
The Coyotes just completed a two-game set with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday and the offense was.. not good.
I mean, they scored a pair of goals in each of the games, but also put just 14 (!!!) shots on goal in each game. Their 14.3% shooting rate in that time is actually a pretty fortunate number as the Avs just stymied the Coyotes in that set.
We was expected, this offense has largely scuffled this season, ranking 26th with 2.58 goals per game on the season and 16th with a solid 20.7% power-play clip.
The advanced metrics are solid, however, as the ‘Yotes rank 23rd in scoring chances for/60, but also 10th in high-danger chances for/60 and 18th in expected goals for/60. However, their 2.08 goals/60 on the season at 5v5 is right in line with their 2.12 expected mark, so it would appear this even-strength offense deserves its result to this point. Those advanced metrics were also far better earlier in the season as the offense has struggled to generate opportunities of late.
One name to keep an eye on tonight is the lighting rod that is Phil Kessel. Kessel’s production has plummeted in the desert, but he’s also put just two shots on goal over his last seven games. For whatever reason, Kessel just isn’t getting pucks on goal as he’ll look to get things turned around in this one.
Known for their stout defense over the last few seasons, the Coyotes’ back end has been more average than we’ve seen of late.
On the season, the ‘Yotes are tied for 14th with 2.88 goals against per game on the season, although their penalty kill has aided that figure as they sit seventh with an 83.3% PK on the campaign.
They certainly sport some poor underlying metrics, however. At 5v5, the Coyotes rank 25th in scoring chances against/60, 27th in high-danger chances against/60 and 25th in expected goals against/60. Their 2.88 goals against/60 at 5v5 this season is well above their 2.22 expected mark, but it’s clear the ‘Yotes are giving up opportunities with the worst of em’ this season.
We’ll touch on the goaltending effect next, but that strong penalty kill has certainly helped boost their overall defense number.
It’s a defense that will look to insulate their goaltending tonight more than they did against the Avs. The Coyotes surrendered 81 shots over their two-game series with the Avalanche, including 46 in their OT loss on Wednesday. That said, it’s an ongoing trend as the Coyotes rank 25th with 31.5 shots against per game on the season.
There’s no doubt the Coyotes haven’t received the same goaltending this season than they did last year when Darcy Kuemper put his name into the Vezina Trophy conversation before a long-term injury ended that bid.
Kuemper is out week-to-week at the moment, however, after leaving Monday’s win early, and man has Antti Raanta been sensational in his game and a half since taking over.
Raanta came in and turned aside all 16 shots he faced in the win on Monday, and was a one-man show while turning aside 45 of 46 shots in a tough-luck OT loss on Wednesday. He’s stopped 60 of his last 62 shots faced — both against a highly-skilled Avalanche offense — good for a cool .968 Sv%.
For the season, Raanta owns a 3.39 GAA and .912 Sv% as he scuffled early on, but here’s a guy with a 2.44 GAA and .920 Sv% across a rather large 194-game sample size for his career, and considering he’s red-hot at the moment, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his numbers trend towards career norms as he takes the reigns moving forward with Kuemper sidelined.
That said, Raanta isn’t the confirmed starter for this one as Adin Hill is also an option. Hill has gotten into two games this season, turning in a stout 2.24 GAA and .930 Sv% in that time after he posted a 2.62 GAA and .918 Sv% in 13 games last season.
Without a back-to-back scenario at play here, I would expect the hot Raanta to get the nod in a crucial matchup tonight.
A look up and down the Wild forward group doesn’t exactly reveal any eye-popping names, save for Rookie of the Year candidate Kirill Kaprizov who has been as advertised since making his way over from the KHL this season.
That said, this group has been a fun group to watch and they’ve been producing.
For the season, the Wild rank 13th with 3.13 goals per game on the season, and that’s without hardly any help from a power play that ranks dead last by a wide margin at just 7.9%. Surely that power play improves, so Minnesota could theoretically move into the top 10 when that indeed takes place.
That said, it’s easy to guess that their even-strength offense has been dynamite and the underlying metrics confirm such a notion.
At 5v5, the Wild rank 10th in scoring chances for/60, but also second in both high-danger chances for/60 and expected goals for/60. That said, they’re probably scoring over their heads at 5v5 as their first-ranked 3.07 goals/60 at 5v5 this season is well above their 2.46 expected mark. Last season, the NHL’s leader in goals/60 at 5v5 was the Tampa Bay Lightning at 2.95, so we should see at least some regression from Minnesota’s even-strength offense moving forward.
Defense was always going to be this team’s calling card if they were going to have a chance in a top-heavy West Division this season, and the team has indeed put forth some quality defensive numbers, both on the surface and underneath.
Overall, the Wild rank 10th with 2.63 goals against per game on the season with a penalty kill that moves up to sixth with an 84.3% mark.
Underneath the hood, the Wild rank sixth in terms of scoring chances against/60, fourth in high-danger chances against/60 and 10th in expected goals against/60. Their 2.19 goals against/60 at 5v5 this season is slightly above their 2.03 expected mark, so it’s confirmed that we are indeed dealing with one of the league’s better defensive teams here, as expected.
Keep in mind the advanced data suggested the Wild were a top-two defense last season, only to rank 29th in overall save percentage which plummeted them down the defensive rankings. With an elite top-four that still features Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba, only now with perhaps the league’s best bottom-pair in Carson Soucy and Ian Cole, this is for sure a very difficult group to crack with much-improved goaltending behind it.
Cam Talbot came out of the gates hot after signing a three-year deal with the Wild in free agency, but a spell on the NHL’s protocol list combined with a shaky return to action has had Kaapo Kahkonen seeing the lion’s share of starts of late.
Kahkonen has been excellent in that time, but Talbot is the confirmed netminder for the home side for this one tonight.
In three starts since his return, Talbot has shown rust in the form of an ugly 4.36 GAA and .865 Sv% while losing all three of those outings and allowing at least four goals in each, including a 5-2 loss to the Wild his last time out on Saturday.
For the season, the veteran owns a 2.88 GAA and .906 Sv% across 10 starts, but he also owns a 2.61 GAA and .915 Sv% for his career in 324 NHL appearances. He’s a good goaltender as he bounced back with the Flames last season and started out hot before having his season interrupted this time around, but behind this defense, it shouldn’t take long for him to find his game.
Coyotes vs. Wild NHL Pick
Don’t look now but the Wild are just two points back of the Vegas Golden Knights for top spot in the West, although Vegas holds a game in hand. Still, this team is red-hot at the moment, having won seven times in their last 10 games and three of their last four.
That said, this one might be closer than the odds suggest. Arizona is riding a red-hot netminder at the moment, and the Wild are scoring more goals than they deserve, at least at 5v5. We should expect their power play to at least start scoring some goals moving forward as well.
All that said, I’m looking for a low-scoring affair here.
First, we have two of the league’s top seven penalty-killing teams here, so it’s not a great matchup for the Wild to get their man advantage going.
Second, it’s not a great matchup for the Coyotes to get their offense in gear after scoring just four goals on 28 shots over their last two games.
While Talbot has struggled of late, expect him to start putting up better numbers in a hurry behind this brick wall of a blueline while Raanta — should he start — is riding plenty of confidence into this one.
It’s a 5.5 total at -129, but I believe this one stays Under tonight from the State of Hockey.