Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks Game 3 Pick – NHL August 6

A crucial Game 3 showdown will unfold Thursday afternoon in the early time slot out west. Vancouver will battle Minnesota with the series tied at 2:30 EST, 11:30 AM Pacific. That’s quite the early start for both players and fans from the west coast, and it will be interesting to see if there are any lingering effects.

The Canucks stormed back two days ago to tie the series up, after getting thoroughly shut down in Game 1. Their offense seemed quick, their breakouts were working again, and star talents like Brock Boeser and Elias Petterson were finding room to operate.

The Wild want to get back to the formula that worked for them so well in Game 1. An aggressive forecheck on Vancouver’s defense, and then retreat to clog up passing lanes within the neutral zone, forcing turnovers. If they can get back to that style, they can hang with the Canucks in an all-important Game 3.

One bit of injury news to monitor heading into puck drop is the status of Canucks’ sniper Tyler Toffoli. He wasn’t a part of the lineup in Game 2, surprising many observers. Rumour has it he was spotted within the hotel area in a walking boot, likely meaning his status is in doubt for the remainder of the series.

Can Vancouver generate enough offense without one of their top scorers? Keep on reading beneath the posted odds for our breakdown, analysis, and betting prediction in a pivotal Game 3 showdown between Vancouver and Minnesota. Enjoy!

Canucks vs. Wild Betting Odds:

Vancouver Canucks (+107)
Minnesota Wild (-118)

Over 5.5 (+109)
Under 5.5 (-120)

*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag

Canucks vs. Wild Pick:

Perhaps unlike any other series, these games between the Wild and Vancouver should be altered quite a bit with Minnesota now being designated as the ‘home’ team. Of course there won’t be any extra cheering or rowdy antics from the virtual fans – but the home team gets last change, and that should allow for a big boost to the Wild.

With Vancouver not having Tyler Toffoli in their lineup, their scoring depth thins out significantly. He was a key piece for secondary scoring and allowed other players to play deeper in the lineup. With him out, it has likely forced coach Travis Green to stack his top-line of JT Miller, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser. A stacked line, no doubt – though it’s left very little offensive options on lines 2-4.

As a result, this should play into the hands of Minnesota, who with last change will very likely deploy the shut-down defense tandem of Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter, every time that talented Vancouver trio hits the ice. Up front, the Wild can and will likely even match their forwards, by using centre Joel Eriksson-Ek in that shutdown role.

WILD BETTER AT 5V5
Through the first two games in this series, it’s been clear that Minnesota has been the better group at 5v5 play. They have stifled the offensive talent for the most part of Vancouver, and have even generated more quality chances. Alex Stalock wasn’t as sharp in Game 2 as he was in Game 1, but with less special teams opportunities and a regression to his season-long stats, that should be rectified.

While the Wild don’t come in with great name value and recognition like the Canucks do, they boast a deep and battle-tested team that thrives in a playoff-like matchup. They’re tight checking, and without Toffoli – you have to lean to the Wild to take the series lead on Wednesday. They’ve been the better group at 5-on-5 play, Stalock will be better in goal, and eventually their depth should take over.

Pick: Minnesota 3-1

My Pick
Wild
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.