The Minnesota Wild (1-1-2) host the Arizona Coyotes (1-3) in a early season contest between two teams at the bottom of their respective divisions. The Wild are playing their second game of a back-to-back while Arizona hasn’t played since the tenth of October. Our projected goaltender for Minnesota is Devan Dubnyk and Arizona is projecting Anti Raanta as their starting goalie. Faceoff at Xcel Arena is scheduled for 8:00 PM Eastern.
The Wild and Their 30 Shots on Goal per Game
The Wild are off to a rough start this season. Sure, they’ve had a difficult schedule but that isn’t much of an excuse as the majority of their games have been at home. They currently lead the NHL in shots on goal allowed per game (42.3) and despite seeing 167 shots on goal, Goaltender Devan Dubnyk is allowing less than three of those shots per game find the back of the net. Minnesota does a solid job killing penalties (85 percent) and a decent job winning face-offs (51 percent).
The problem with the Wild is that they don’t get enough shots on goal per game (30). If an NHL team doesn’t shoot the puck that team doesn’t score very much and that is the problem with the Wild thus far this season.
Veteran LW Zach Parise leads the team with five points, followed closely by defenseman Ryan Suter (4) and LW Jason Zucker (4). Center Eric Stahl has three points and several players have two points this early in the season.
Sabermetrics tells us the Wild are probably due for some positive regression in the win/loss column as their expected goals scored (6.67) is greater than their expected goals allowed (5.63).
Raanta Having a Tough Time Stopping the Puck
Arizona is off to an equally difficult start to their season. The Coyotes allow just 23.3 shots per game and 2.25 goals per game. Goalkeeper Antti Raanta is allowing 2.22 goals per game with a save percentage of 90 percent. A 90 percent save percentage isn’t going to get the job done and Raanta should thank his lucky stars the Coyote defense skates as hard as they do otherwise that goals against could look a whole lot worse.
Arizona averages 36.5 shots on goal and score .5 goals per game. Their expected goals for of 6.16 leads us to believe the scoring shortage is more about bad luck than a bad offensive team.
The Coyotes have done a great job killing penalties but have scored on just 8.8 percent of their own power play opportunities. Again; this probably has more to do with bad luck than a bad power play unit. Especially with the snipers Arizona sends out on their first team power play unit.
We could give you the individual offensive leaders but Arizona having five players with just a single point we don’t want to embarrass them.
- Under is 5-0 in Coyotes last 5 overall.
- Under is 4-0 in Coyotes last 4 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 4-1 in Coyotes last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
- Wild are 1-4 in their last 5 games playing on 0 days rest.
- Wild are 1-4 in their last 5 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- Wild are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Wild are 1-5 in their last 6 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This game is about two teams still trying to find their way. The Wild are on the second game of a back to back and while it’s still early in the season we still have to consider the Wild might be a bit tired. On the other hand Arizona will be skating on five days rest so the Coyotes should be fresh as a daisy.
The Wild and their fourth most penalty minutes per game (13.25) hasn’t hurt them yet but at some point their reckless play has to bite them. On the flip side Arizona shoots the puck far too many times per game to score as few times as they have this season. I suspect Head Coach Rick Tocchet has been in his clubs ear about making opposing goalies look better than they are.
I wouldn’t mortgage the house on the Coyotes but it might not be a bad idea to play this club on the money line Tuesday night.
Prediction: Arizona +140
Full-Game Total Pick
We have two teams who between them allow less than six goals per game. We also have two teams that currently score less than four goals between them. We also have a Wild team playing on the second game of a back to back. It’s early and at home, but still the second game of a back to back. All signs point to a tight, low scoring game. We also have an Arizona team who seems to make goalies “look good” and I have a feeling this Coyotes team is going to look to score early and then let their forechecking do the talking. Cash your tickets by playing the under on Tuesday night!
Prediction: Under 5.5