The Minnesota Wild put on a clinic in Detroit last night, as they bullied their way to a 7-1 win at Little Caesars Arena against the Red Wings. The Wild were just too big and strong for the Red Wings to contend with. They were winning every individual battle for the puck, which has become a recurring theme for the Wings as they try to clear the zone.
Instead of getting the puck out of the defensive zone, the Red Wings continue to lose battles down low, often times resulting in a goal for the opposition. That’s what happened last night and in a lot of other games for the Red Wings this season. Those two free points for the Wild in Detroit on Thursday night.
Minnesota will be back out on the ice tonight, as they take part in a back-to-back on the road. The Wild are back home to welcome the Washington Capitals on Sunday, so they won’t have to worry about an extended road trip, though. The Wild finish the season on a four-game road trip. That doesn’t help a team who’ve been good at home, though have struggled on the road. There was no struggling in Detroit last night, but we’re talking about the Red Wings.
The Wild were able to keep pace with the Predators last night, as they remain 3 points behind for the final wildcard. They probably had offers for Zach Parise at the trade deadline, but didn’t pull the trigger on a deal. There has to be some confidence within the organization that the Wild can get going and find a way into the playoffs. Otherwise a deal for Parise likely would have been completed.
Columbus and Minnesota were in action on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild were able to edge out the Blue Jackets by a score of 5-4. Typically this season if the Blue Jackets score 4 goals it’s an automatic win. They’ve gotten excellent goaltending from Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins. Korpisalo went down and Merzlikins picked things right up and excelled. We’ve seen the defence look a bit vulnerable recently, though. We’ll see if something changes at home against the Wild tonight. Head below for our free Wild vs. Blue Jackets pick.
Minnesota Wild vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Odds:
Wild vs. Blue Jackets Prediction:
Despite going on a slide recently, the Blue Jackets are still in possession of a wildcard going into Friday. They have won just nine of their last ten games. The Blue Jackets beat the Senators in overtime Monday night, but followed it up with a 5-4 loss the next night. Fortunately, five of those losses came in overtime, so they were able to pick up a point in each of those games.
The Blue Jackets have a record of 31-20-14 with 76 points going into Friday. They’re trying to hold off the Hurricanes and Rangers, who are both two points behind the Blue Jackets. The Rangers have been way hotter than the Blue Jackets, so look out for them as they’ve been coming on strong of late.
The Blue Jackets will be back home for this one, which should help them out against the Wild. They’ve been okay on the road with a record of 12-9-10, but superior at home in Columbus. The Jackets have posted a record of 19-11-4 at Nationwide Arena, and the defence has played much better at home. Columbus has allowed an average of 2.57 goals per game this season for 3rd in the league.
That gets bumped up to an impressive 2.18 goals against at home. Korpisalo is most likely getting the nod for this contest. Merzlikins was recently injured and is currently listed as questionable. His upper-body injury doesn’t appear to be serious, though. Korpisalo holds a 2.48 GAA and 0.914 save percentage in 33 games. On the other side, Minnesota hasn’t done well defensively away from the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild have gone just 12-15-2 on the road in 2019-20. Defensively they’ve really had issues, having allowed 3.62 goals per game as a visitor. Alex Stalock got the nod last night, so Devan Dubnyk will get the starting nod Friday night in Columbus. Dubnyk has been unable to get into a groove this year.
He owns a 3.34 GAA and 0.892 save percentage in 29 games, and hasn’t had success on the road with a 3.57 GAA. Expect the Blue Jackets to come out with a strong effort in this one. After making it look so easy last night, the Wild are likely going to run into problems versus a team who will offer more push-back Friday night. I like the Blue Jackets at home here.