Ducks vs. Wild NHL Pick – January 14, 2022

I went 1-1 with my two NHL picks last night but earned a tiny profit in the process.

I missed on my Red Wings moneyline pick as slight home dogs (+104) as they were blanked by the short-handed Jets by a 3-0 count.

That said, I wish I did hit the Senators on the moneyline at about +235 odds in Calgary. I suggested a moneyline sprinkle in yesterday’s piece, but bought some safety and went +1.5 on the puck line at nice +105 odds. The Sens came out hard and built a 3-0 lead before eventually taking down the Flames by a 4-1 count.

That’s a minuscule 0.05-unit profit as we’ll move onto this Ducks vs. Wild NHL Pick from the State of Hockey!

Ducks vs. Wild Betting Odds

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline

Teams Moneyline Puck Line Total
Ducks +153 +1.5 (-158) Over 5.5 (-111)
Wild -170 -1.5 (+138) Under 5.5 (+101)

Offense and Defense

Ducks

The Ducks came out of the gate hot at the offensive end of the ice after finishing as one of the worst offenses in the NHL a season ago, but have since cooled off.

Still, not many expected Anaheim to be sitting 17th with 2.92 goals against per game nearly at the midway point of their season. The underlying metrics are solid as well as they sit 12th in high-danger chances for/60 and 17th in expected goals for/60 at 5v5, as per Natural Stat Trick. Their 2.20 goals/60 at 5v5 also sits under their 2.41 expected mark, so perhaps there’s some growth to be had yet for this Ducks even-strength offense.

However, while the Ducks have notched 3.09 goals per game at home, that number slips to 2.71 on the road while they’ve managed just five regulation goals over their last three away from home.

One key issue for this offense from a personnel standpoint is the absence of Troy Terry due to COVID protocol. Terry sits sixth in the NHL with 22 goals on the season and has tallied 36 points in 38 games as a major reason for the club’s out-performance at the offensive end of the ice.

The Ducks is another improved aspect of this Ducks club after a few down seasons in that department.

Overall, they sit 11th with 2.74 goals against per game. The underlying data is somewhat mixed, however. While they sit 15th in high-danger chances against/60 at 5v5, they also rank 24th in expected goals against/60 in 5v5 play while their 2.36 goals against/60 sits below their 2.60 expected mark. It appears there could be some regression in this even-strength defense moving forward.

That said, the Ducks defense regresses to 18th with 3.12 goals against per game on the road where they’ve yielded seven goals over their last two contests outside of the Honda Center.

Wild

The Wild are once again out-performing expectations on offense, but it’s fair to wonder whether it’s sustainable.

The club sits third in the NHL while averaging 3.58 goals per game on the season. That said, they also sit 16th in high-danger chances for/60 and 18th in expected goals for/60 at 5v5 on the season. Their third-ranked 3.04 goals/60 at 5v5 sits miles above their 18th-ranked 2.37 expected mark, suggesting that there’s regression to be had moving forward offensively at even strength.

Nonetheless, the club averages a whopping 4.13 goals per game on home ice this season and have still averaged 3.50 goals per game over their last four.

Uncharacteristically, the Wild haven’t performed very well at the defensive end of the ice.

They haven’t been terrible by any means, but they currently sit 19th in yielding 3.03 goals per game on the season. A team that produced some of the very best defensive metrics in the league last season sits 14th in high-danger chances against/60 and ninth in expected goals against/60 at 5v5, so the metrics aren’t too bad themselves. Their 2.61 goals against/60 at 5v5 is above their 2.34 expected mark, so perhaps they’ve been slightly unlucky in the puck-luck department on the back end this time around.

The club still allows an even 3.00 goals per game on home ice which ties them for 21st in the league, although they’ve turned it around over their last two in holding the Bruins and Capitals to two goals apiece in that time.

Goaltending Notes

Ducks

John Gibson is unavailable tonight while remaining in COVID protocol, so it will be backup Anthony Stolarz getting the nod in the midst of a solid season in relief of Gibson.

Stolarz will make his 13th appearances and 12th start in this one tonight and will carry a tidy 2.29 GAA and .929 Sv% into action while his excellent 6.89 goals saved above average (GSAA) sits him 11th among 67 qualified netminders in that department, as per Hockey Reference.

While he’s yielded three goals in back-to-back starts entering this one, he’s still posted a solid .917 Sv% in that time and owns a .931 Sv% over his last five appearances despite taking the loss in two straight.

Wild

With Cam Talbot still nursing a lower-body ailment, it will be backup Kaapo Kahkonen getting the nod in this one tonight and the young netminder is white-hot entering this one.

For the season, Kahkonen has turned in a solid 2.51 GAA and .915 Sv% across 10 outings (nine starts) while his 1.51 GSAA sits 26th among those 67 qualified netminders.

That said, Kahkonen endured a tough start to his season in a small four-appearance sample. Since then, he’s posted a .941 Sv% over his last six appearances (five starts) winning four of his last five decisions in the process.

The 25-year-old owns a 2.53 GAA and .913 Sv% across 20 games at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, going 14-4-1 in the process.

Special Teams

Ducks

The Ducks boasted one of the worst power plays in the NHL a season ago. As a result, not much was expected this time around barring a major improvement from some young players, and that’s indeed been the case.

Don’t look now, but the Ducks sit fifth with a 26.7% clip on the power play this season, a number that increases ever so slightly to 27.3% on the road, also good for fifth league wide.

That Ducks man advantage has been held in check over their last three in going just 1 for 8 (12.5%), but has largely been consistent as they’re still 8 for 26 (30.8%) over their last nine contests and 2 for 3 over their last two on the road.

The penalty kill has been very strong as well. The Ducks sit fourth overall with an 85.3% mark on the kill this season, a mark that once again trends up by a hair to 85.7% on the road, also fourth in the league.

The club hasn’t been quite as good in going 5 for 7 over their last two and 13 for 17 (76.5%) over their last five, but clearly special teams have been contributing to a season that’s exceeded the loftiest of expectations to this point.

Wild

In what of the more interesting splits the league has seen this season, the Wild have been very efficient on the power play on the road but have struggled mightily at home.

The Wild have connected at a ninth-ranked 24.6% clip on the man advantage away from home, but enter this one ranked dead last with a sub-10% mark on home ice. Those trends have held true of late as the Wild have gone just 1 for 12 (8.3%) on the PP over their last four home games and a far superior 8 for 24 (33.3%) over their last six on the road.

Interestingly enough, a similar trend is taking place when it comes to the penalty kill.

The Wild are tied for 12th with an 81.3% mark on the kill on the road, but slip to 23rd with a 78.2% mark on the road. The gap isn’t quite as wide as the power play, but the club’s special teams have certainly scuffled on home ice.

That penalty kill has struggled wherever they’ve been of late, going just 12 for 17 (70.6%) over their last four and 31 for 41 (75.6%) over their last 10.

Betting Trends

Ducks

  • Ducks are 2-6 in their last eight overall
  • Ducks are 1-4 in their last five as a road underdog
  • Under is 10-2-1 in the Ducks’ last 13 overall
  • Under is 5-0-1 in the Ducks’ last six on the road

Wild

  • Wild are 2-5 in their last seven overall
  • Wild are 41-18 in their last 59 games as a home favorite
  • Over is 17-8 in the Wild last 25 overall
  • Over is 20-6 in the Wild last 26 home games

Head to Head

  • Minnesota is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings
  • Minnesota is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Minnesota
  • Under is 17-8-1 in the last 26 meetings
  • Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Minnesota

Ducks vs. Wild NHL Pick

The Ducks have scuffled to score goals on the road of late and are without their best player from this season in Terry.

At the same time, the Wild are set to regress offensively on home ice and their power play has been atrocious this season in Minnesota.

We also have a pair of hot goaltenders in this one. Stolarz has been sensational whenever called upon this season and Kahkonen has dominated over his last six appearances.

While Minnesota plays to overs more often than not on home nice, the Ducks don’t play to many on the road. With the goalies shining bright entering this one I think we can give the Under 5.5 serious consideration here at plus odds.

The Bet
UNDER 5.5
+101
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.

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