It’s been a difficult weekend for the Detroit Red Wings, as their beloved owner, Mike Ilitch, passed away on Friday. Ilitch also owned the Detroit Tigers and was the founder of Little Caesars. He came a few months short of seeing his brand-new arena go up, but goes out with 25 straight playoff appearances on his resume with the Red Wings. To keep it going, things are going to have to pick up for the Wings. Detroit holds a record of 22-23-10 going into Sunday, following a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets yesterday. We’ve been hot with our NHL picks, another win recorded yesterday, so I hope to keep it rolling this afternoon.
The Red Wings will turn their attention to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, where they’ll try and get back on track against a very competent Wild team. The Wild welcome the Wings, as they look to improve on an impressive mark of 36-12-4. It’s been going well for the Wild this year, but they’re only as good as their effort in the playoffs.
The Red Wings may not make the postseason this season, but they’ve enjoyed much more success in the playoff arena than the Wild have, including a few Stanley Cups since 1997. The Wings are no longer the top-dogs around the NHL, but their success cannot be understated. However, they won those Stanley Cups thanks to a gritty, tough unit who wouldn’t give up any group. The Red Wings are the total opposite now, with a team who’re struggling to impose their will on defence in any way.
Petr Mrazek was expected to play a critical role this season, but his GAA has slipped all the way to 0.897% and he’s struggled to keep the team afloat. He was supposed to take over as the clear starter in Detroit, although all that’s happened is Jimmy Howard playing more often than expected. After his injury though, the Wings have been forced to go with Jared Coreau occasionally. Mrazek played well last night against the Jackets, but took the L in a 2-1 loss. The Red Wings will look to comeback strong, while we’ll look to stay hot with our NHL picks on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Minnesota Wild Pick
The Wild have been doormats for the Red Wings for years, but the fortunes have switched with the Wild becoming the dominant team in 2016-17. However, in the head-to-head series, they’ve traded some wins back and forth. The Wings have six wins in their last ten over the Wild. Their most recent win coming in April, so it’s been a while since the Wild and Wings have linked up. A lot has changed since then. The Red Wings enter Sunday with a lackluster two wins in their last nine games. Defence has been a major problem for them, as they’ve surrendered 3.40 goals per game in their past ten outings. The Wings are allowing 32.6 shots per game on net overall this season.
The Wild have netted an average of 3.40 goals a game in their last ten games, so the same amount of goals the Wings have been giving up. It’s been an interesting season for the Wild in that sense, who’ve usually never been a prolific team on offense. In 2016-17 the Wild are averaging 3.30 goals overall per game and are 4th in the NHL. The Red Wings have slipped to 26th defensively. I think this presents a nice opportunity for the Wild to beat up on the Wings while they’re feeling down and out. The Red Wings frustrations continue this afternoon, after a quick turnaround from last night in Columbus.
PICK: WILD -1.5 (+125)