Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Xcel Energy Center
When: Sunday, October 20, 2019, 5:00 pm ET
We have a non-conference NHL game on the table for Sunday afternoon when the Montreal Canadians meet the Minnesota Wild for a matchup between the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division meet the Western Conference Central Division. This preview was published before the start of the Montreal Canadians-St Louis Blues game on Saturday and all opinions are based on the stats from Friday night NHL action.
Montreal .500 HomestandMontreal sits at 3-2-2 this season and they are coming off a 4-0 home win over this same Minnesota Wild team. Cary Price turned back all 17 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and 45th over his storied career. That left Montreal with a 2-2 record over their four-game homestand and while we could make some snarky comment about not being able to win at home, they did lose games to Tampa Bay and Detroit and those are two pretty good teams. Brendan Gallagher leads Montreal with seven points, Joel Armia has a club-high four goals and Jonathon Druin leads the Canadians with five assists.
The Canadians have a good power-play unit with a 23.1 success rate but its 69.6 percent success rate killing penalties will need to improve if the Canadians want to take their club to the next level.
Keith Kinkaid (0-0-1, 4.93) is a decent backup and had a rough start to his season after allowing five goals on 39 shots in a 5-4 overtime road loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Fortunately for Kincaid, Minnesota doesn’t have the same firepower that Buffalo does and score an average of two goals per game this season.
Wild Struggling Out of GateMinnesota might not be the worst team in the NHL, but if they aren’t it may be difficult finding a worse team than they currently are. Their season isn’t over yet at 1-6-0 but they had better get their act together fast or it could be a very long season for the Wild. Minnesota has had a couple of days off since being shut out by the Canadians, and maybe that will help get them on track. Brad Hunt leads the Wild with four points and a team-high two goals and Ryan Suter leads Minnesota with three assists this season.
Final thoughts from Bruce Boudreau after Thursday night's game in Montreal. pic.twitter.com/cV9wQbLYDN— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 18, 2019
The Minnesota Wild power-play unit has a below-average 12 percent success rate, but the penalty kill unit and its 77.8 percent success rate is extremely encouraging as at least they are trying to play defense.
Devan Dubnyk (0-5-0, 4.44) has really struggled this season and until the Wild gain, some experience playing together and maybe score a few goals to support him, than Dubnyk will continue to struggle. Dubnyk is still the number one goaltender, but he has Alex Stalock nipping at his skates and the veteran netminder had better get it together real fast otherwise he’s going to be watching the Wild lose games from the bench.
- Wild are 1-5 in their last 6 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Wild are 1-5 in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Wild are 1-6 in their last 7 Sunday games.
- Wild are 0-4 in their last 4 games as an underdog of +110 to +150.
- Wild are 0-7 in their last 7 games as an underdog.
- Canadiens are 6-0 in their last 6 vs. Central.
- Canadiens are 4-0 in their last 4 games as a favorite of -110 to -150.
- Canadiens are 6-0 in their last 6 vs. Western Conference.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Minnesota Wild isn't a good hockey team and probably won't be this season and that's probably okay for them. They are still professional athletes, they still compete and try hard but they just aren't good enough to win. They managed just 17 shots on goal in their last game against the Canadians and I expect much of the same.
Normally, we would suggest to side with the club with the most rest, but I suspect Minnesota could rest for a month and it still wouldn't make that much of a difference. At the end of the day, the Wild simply can't be trusted right now.
I will play Montreal to win this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect much of the same as what happened in their last meeting earlier this week. Montreal will score 3-4 goals, Minnesota might pot one on Kincaid, and Montreal leaves Xcel Energy Arena with a 4-1 victory and the second victory of the week against Minnesota.
I will play the UNDER in this game.