The Coyotes have been looking for a standout between the pipes for a considerable amount of time now, going back several years. I know you may want to bring up Mike Smith, but is he really a standout? He has only had one really good season, going back to the 2011-12 season, where Smith posted a GAA of 2.21. He progressively regressed from that season on, following it up with a 2.58 GAA, then a 2.64 and finally a 3.16 last year. Smith has appeared in 22 games this season and has been battling a muscle injury. He currently has a 3.06 GAA as he awaits a comeback. However, at 33 years old, injuries plaguing him, and declining numbers, the future may lay in the hands of Louis Domingue. Canada has heard a lot about their inability to produce young goaltenders in recent years, but could Domingue be a future Canadian star in net? He has been one of the most unheard of goaltenders in the NHL, playing in Arizona will do that to you. But he has played like a guy worth keeping an eye on. The Coyotes don’t have the best defense, so I do wonder how much better his numbers would look on a team with a top 5 blue line.
The Yotes travel to Minnesota tonight against the Wild, who are attempting to keep their season on track. They started the season off so well, but like the Canadiens, are throwing everything away before the All-Star break gets here. The first couple weeks after are probably going to be indicative of how the rest of their season will go. I said there is no way they are going to get past the Blackhawks in the playoffs even when people were all about them earlier. Now, the question begs if they will even make the playoffs. A low seed, may draw the Blackhawks in the 1st round, good luck with that one. I am colder than the east coast blizzard right now. Hopefully a turnaround is in store for Monday night.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Minnesota Wild NHL Pick
The Wild snapped a five game losing streak against the LA Kings, but followed it up with another loss against the Sharks last time out. The Wild have gone 3-7 in their last ten games. They have slipped to a record of 23-17-7-1. Minnesota shouldn’t be in a panic position yet, but they need to gather themselves and come out with a clean start in the second half. A strong finish before the All-Star break would provide hope as well. The offense has completely disappeared. It almost feels like the Devils switched places with the Wild the last week. The Wild offense has never been anything to get excited about, they win with defense, but during that five game losing skid, they averaged only 0.8 goals per game.
In their last ten games, the Wild have scored 1.9 goals per game. Conversely, they allowed 2.3 goals a game. The Coyotes have had their own problems trying to score the puck, as they have netted 1.25 goals per game in their last four. Their last ten games has produced 2.3 goals per game. Domingue enters this evening with a 2.17 GAA. When he has a night rest, his GAA is 1.69 in the following game. Against the Wild in three outings, he produced a 1.95 GAA. The UNDER has gone 5-2-1 in their last eight meetings between each other. The Coyotes have a good chance of winning here tonight, but I’m going to side with the UNDER and a low scoring game.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (+100)