The NFL takes the spotlight on Sunday, but with the NLCS and hockey on the card, there is much more than just football to enjoy. My pick tonight features an unlikely unbeaten team and an unlikely winless team. I shouldn’t go as far to say it would be unlikely that the Wild are 3-0-1 right now, because they are a very good team. However, what good is it if you’re just going to go to the playoffs every year and lose to the Chicago Blackhawks? The Blackhawks are the Patriots’ New York Giants for those of you that aren’t the biggest hockey fans. Playoff time comes and the Blackhawks run the tables against the Wild. I don’t feel the Hawks are as talented as we’ve seen the past few season, so this might finally be the year that the Wild advance further in the playoffs than we’ve ever seen before. Their team primarily revolves around their defense. I’ll say it right now, the Wild aren’t the most exciting team to watch, but it works for them and that’s all that matters. Thus far, all they have is an overtime loss to the Kings to look down upon. Although, they have picked up at least a point in all of their games in 2015.
The Ducks aren’t used to losing in the regular season, not at all. The Ducks have been especially dangerous at home the past few seasons. In the playoffs are a different story, which I’ll surely touch on later in the season again. But look at the Ducks right now, they haven’t even won a game yet. Losing three games in a row is usually reversed for the playoffs with the Ducks. The Ducks latest defeat came to the Colorado Avalanche at home. In the regular season they went 51-24-7, including a record of 26-12-3 at home. Little of that success has been seen thus far this year. Hockey is a long campaign, so there isn’t time to get down about anything just yet. A win against the Wild would be a nice way to start in the win column.
Minnesota Wild vs. Anaheim Ducks Pick
Corey Perry has failed to register a point for the Ducks yet this season. All he’s done is be on the ice for the other teams goals, as he has a -2 +/-. Note that two of the three Ducks’ losses have come at home, which is certainly uncharacteristic for this team. They haven’t even been close this season. The offense has been downright frightening, scoring only 1 goal which came against the Canucks. Thus, the Ducks have averaged only 0.25 goals per game. They had one of the top offenses in the NHL last season, so we’ll see if they can get this back on track.
This Wild team is based on defense, but it’s actually been their offense that has been winning games for them. That is a good sign, because if they can put both together then they are going to be a really tough team to beat.
However, 3.25 goals against isn’t how the Wild want to play their season out. The offense isn’t always going to be there for the Wild, I don’t think they have that kind of offense to score 3 or 4 goals a night, so the defense has to do what they’ve been doing over the past few years. This game looks like a good spot bet to me. This will be the Wild third game out west, the first two against the Coyotes and Kings. I expect the Ducks to finally put a game together and get their first win of the season over the Wild.
PICK: DUCKS TO WIN -124