Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver Canucks
Where: Edmonton, Alberta
When: Sunday, August 2, 2020, 10:30 pm ET
We have a Western Conference Qualifying series to consider when the Minnesota Wild meet the Vancouver Canucks for game one of their best of five series. Minnesota finished tenth in the Western Conference standings while the Canucks would likely have reached the playoffs anyway after finishing seventh in the Western Conference.
Wild Red Hot Finish to Regular SeasonMinnesota was 35-34-7 when play stopped and had it not been for COVID-19, the Wild would be watching the playoffs from their sofas. Instead, they have a second chance to get things right. The Wild were red hot when play stopped, riding a one-game winning streak while going 7-3-0 over their last ten games. Minnesota scored a twelfth best 3.19 goals per game while allowing a twenty-fourth best 3.14 goals per game.
The special teams unit knew how to light the lamp and the power-play unit ended the season eleventh in the league with a 21.1 percent success rate. The penalty kill unit was another story altogether; their 77.3 percent kill rate was twenty-fifth in the NHL this season.
Devan Dubnyk is likely patrolling the crease for the Wild and he’s coming off a 12-15-2 season with a 3.35 GAA alongside an 89 percent save percentage. Dubnyk did post one shutout this season and went 1-1 against the Canucks with a 2.95 GAA and 90 percent save percentage. The Wild netminder ended the regular season by winning three of his last five starts.
Vancouver Seventh Best in Western ConferenceVancouver ended the regular season with a 36-33-6 mark and would have likely reached the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Western Conference. The Canucks ended the regular season on a one-game winning streak but were 4-5-1 over their last ten games. Vancouver finished eighth in the NHL in goals scored, averaging 3.25 goals per game while allowing a twenty-first best 3.10 goals per game.
"Adaptable. Word of the camp." Coach Green speaks on the importance of being ready for things out of the norm regarding hockey in the bubble. pic.twitter.com/Oysz7VSyJg— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 1, 2020
The Canucks 24.2 percent power-play success rate is fourth in the NHL this season while the penalty kill unit was sixteenth with an 80.2 percent success rate this season.
Jacob Markstrom will likely tend to the twine and he’s coming off a 23-16-4 with a 2.75 GAA alongside a 91 percent save percentage. Markstrom has two shutouts to his credit this season and won three of his last five starts. The Swedish national made th
- Canucks are 1-5 in their last 6 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Canucks are 1-5 in their last 6 games as a favorite.
- Canucks are 0-4 in their last 4 Sunday games.
- Wild are 4-0 in their last 4 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Wild are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Pacific.
- Wild are 6-2 in their last 8 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Minnesota was playing very well before play was stopped and I suspect they will go out and make the most of this opportunity. Vancouver rode the struggle bus over their last ten games and I wonder if the lengthy break hurt or helped the Canucks. Either way, I like the Wild here and especially like their power play and if they get a couple of cracks at the Canucks penalty kill unit, they could score some goals against a Canucks side that committed the ninth most penalties in the league this season. The Wild penalty kill is worse than Vancouver but they commit far fewer penalties. I’m going with the Wild in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
Vegas posted a 5.5 goal total and I suspect that might be too high for this game. It’s going to be. a physical matchup for sure and these tend to be lower scoring games. Vancouver might have the better offense, but Dubnyk has done okay against the Canucks and I don’t see Vancouver scoring more than two goals. Minnesota is going to be very aggressive and especially so on the power play and I suspect this one finishes 3-2. I will play the UNDER in this matchup.