After coming away with the impressive, yet also very surprising 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night, the Vancouver Canucks might be able to add some juice into what could be an interesting postseason push down the stretch.
“Might” being the key word here.
Now holding a record of 31-26-8, Vancouver still sits fifth in the Pacific Division. However, the team is also currently three points behind the Dallas Stars for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
With just 17 games left in the regular season, the Canucks are going to need to steal some more unexpected victories in order to make the playoffs, and that would definitely be the case on Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.
The Wild are enduring a very solid campaign, sitting third in the Central Division with a record of 37-20-4. Minnesota also comes into this matchup in the midst of a long homestand in which they’ve won three consecutive games.
Led by head coach Dean Evason, the Wild boast talents including the likes of Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, and Kevin Fiala.
Despite their great season, the Wild have still been average on special teams all year. Minnesota’s power play ranks 19th in the league at 19.6%, whilst their 76.3% efficiency on the penalty kill is only good enough for 23rd in the NHL. The Wild, surprisingly, also struggle in the faceoff dot, ranking third last overall, and are also the 29th-worst team in terms of discipline, averaging 10.5 penalty minutes per night.
This will be the second of three games between Minnesota and Vancouver this season. The Wild won the first matchup at Rogers Arena back in October by a score of 3-2.
With deadline acquisition Marc-Andre Fleury not ready to start just yet, Minnesota will likely have Cam Talbot between the pipes, squaring off against a well-rested Thatcher Demko.
The odds for Thursday’s game between Vancouver and Minnesota are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Over 6.0 goals at +100
Under 6.0 goals at -120
Canucks +1.5 at -125
Wild -1.5 at +105
After a monumental victory over the Avalanche, Canucks fans will be filled with optimism as they look forward to a potential late season playoff push under head coach Bruce Boudreau’s. However, despite the high that most fans are riding after Wednesday’s win, it’s still time to tamper expectations for this club.
After all, this is still the same team that just lost to Buffalo and Detroit…. at home….. when it looked like a legitimate postseason push was upon us.
Minnesota, despite average team analytics, are still very tough opponents to beat when they’re at home. The Wild will also be well-rested, having not played since Monday, whilst the Canucks will be on the second half of a back-to-back on the road.
Vancouver will have Demko in net after giving Jaroslav Halak the game in Denver, but the remaining players will likely begin to tire quickly.
The Canucks’ recent momentum could be enough to keep the game close for all 60 minutes, but don’t expect them to have enough to pull out a victory.
Pick: Canucks +1.5 at -125
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Wild? What bets will you be placing on the matchup? Let us know your feelings down below in the comment section!