The Minnesota Wild are on the west coast until Sunday, as they make one stop at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, and then head to Anaheim for two games against the Ducks. This is a one-game deal against the Kings tonight. The Wild are coming off a 2-1 loss against the Colorado Avalanche on February 2. They are finally back out on the ice following a long delay because of Covid-19. It must feel good to get back out on the ice. They had six games postponed and were only able to return to team activities four days ago.
Marcus Foligno was the first player on the Wild to contract Covid-19. He said that he felt guilty about being the first one on the team to bring the virus into the locker room. Well, at least, Foligno was the first member of the Wild to test positive for Covid-19. Before the Wild went on a hiatus, they were a 6-5-0 team and playing mediocre hockey. They were unable to find a nice groove. The Wild were playing herky jerky. Picking up a win, and then turning around and losing the next outing. They have to find some consistent play following this layoff.
The good news for the Wild is that teams that have had to sit out because of Covid-19 and then return have done well for the most part. At least, there hasn’t been a noticeable drop off and sloppy play after coming back to the ice. The Wild are hoping that they can jump right in and get back to playing competitive hockey. The Kings are coming off a split against the San Jose Sharks.
They were losers in a shootout in the first game, 4-3, and then responded on Thursday for a 6-2 win. Through 13 games, the Kings have gone 4-6-3. If there’s any silver lining for the Kings, their offence has been playing quite well. I think the perception with the Kings is that they don’t have offensive firepower. That has not been true at all this season, though. The Kings’ offence has actually been fun to watch. In other words, the Wild can’t take the Kings lightly tonight. Head below for our free Wild vs. Kings pick on February 16, 2021.
Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings NHL Betting Odds:
Wild vs. Kings Prediction:
The Wild and Kings have met three times this season. Minnesota should be well-aware of how much better the Kings’ offence has been playing this season. Through three meetings, the Kings scored 9 goals with a few in each game. Note that the Kings are 14th in the NHL with 3.1 goals per game. The offensive philosophy has looked different for them this season. They’re pressuring more instead of sitting back and relying on their blue line, which has deteriorated over the last few years.
In the past, yes, the Kings were able to ugly games up and rely on their defense and Jonathan Quick between the pipes. It worked well and they won Stanley Cups with that game plan. I think Todd McLellan knows that this Kings team can’t sit back, though, and they’ve been pressing the issue some more in 2020-21. Quick has gotten throttled through four games, as he owns a 4.05 GAA and 0.867 save percentage.
He looks like a shell of his former self, and looks like a guy that needs a change of scenery soon. I don’t know if he finds a new city and returns to form, but this isn’t working out in LA any longer for the 35-year-old. Calvin Peterson has taken over as the No. 1 option for the Kings. He’s been much steadier with a 2.49 GAA and 0.926 save percentage. The Kings will likely shop Quick, but they are not going to get much in return. They waited a little too long to pull the trigger on a deal.
The Kings are 23rd in the NHL with 3.3 goals against per game. They haven’t been fantastic at home by any means either, with 3 goals allowed per game on the season. Their offence has been solid, though, with 3.14 goals per game at the Staples Center. While the Kings found room to score against the Wild in their first three meetings this year, as did the Wild.
The Wild potted 13 goals to win all three by scores of 4-3, 4-3, and 5-3. The OVER is 4-1 in their last five meetings, as well as 6-2 in their previous eight at the Staples Center. The Kings are 10-3 to the OVER because oddsmakers haven’t caught on to their offensive success yet. The public continues to hit the UNDER, but the Kings haven’t been playing the kind of hockey that favours low-scoring games. There appears to be value with the total at -105 on the OVER for 5.5 goals.