The Minnesota Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks in a divisional battle Thursday night from the Xcel Energy Center. The Blackhawks are coming off a 7-6 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs, and the Wild were edged 2-1 in a shootout against Vegas in their previous action. The Wild went 3-2 against the Blackhawks last season.
Kane Shines in Wild Loss to Maple Leafs
The Chicago Blackhawks have seen all three of their games this season go to overtime which included a wild 7-6 OT loss to the Maple Leafs in their latest action on Sunday night. Patrick Kane had a big night in the defeat, recording two goals late in the third period. The 29-year old right-winger has scored in all three games, and he is up to six points on the season. Kane netted two goals and two assists in four games against Minnesota last season. Blackhawk’s defenseman Henri Jokiharju is off to a tremendous start in his first NHL season, netting five assists in two games, and he owns a plus five rating. The 19-year old defensemen was the Blackhawks first round draft pick in the 2017 draft, and he has made the seamless transition to the NHL. The Blackhawks are always dangerous with Kane and Toews leading the way on forward, and they have already scored a combined 15 goals in three games on the season.
— Eric Lear (@BHTVeric) October 9, 2018
The Blackhawks continue to play without their #1 goalie Corey Crawford who is on the injured reserve, however he is close to returning. Cam Ward has played in all three games and he has not fared well, conceding 14 goals in three games after posting a 2.73 GAA with the Hurricanes last season. Backup goalie Anton Forsberg could see his first action of the season in this one.
Wild Searching for First Win of Season
The Minnesota Wild head into this divisional clash hunting for their first win of the season. They came up short in a 2-1 shootout loss to Vegas in their home opener in their latest action this past weekend. Matt Dumba scored Minnesota’s lone goal in the defeat. The 24-year old is one of the better defenseman in the NHL, and the five-year veteran netted 50 points in 82 games last season. Zach Parise is the only other Wild player to find the back of the net through two games. The 34-year old left-winger has fired eight shots on net in two games. Parise collected 24 points in 42 games in an injury shortened 2017-2018 season. He has only tallied five goals and six assists in 30 career games against the Blackhawks. The Wild have only scored one goal in both games this season, which included a 4-1 road loss to the Avalanche in their season opener.
Bruce Boudreau held an intense practice on Tuesday, but one that saw some fun amidst the hard work. pic.twitter.com/XckpVEJLHy
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 9, 2018
The Wild will likely send Devan Dubnyk to the crease in this one. The 32-year old goaltender stopped 41 of 42 shots against the Golden Knights in his latest action, and he has turned aside 77 of 80 shots for only two goals against in his two games played. The Wild are strong defensively, although they have allowed a ton of shots through two games.
The Minnesota Wild are:
- 11-5 in their last 16 games playing on three or more days of rest.
- 23-11 in their last 34 home games.
- over is 18-7-4 in their last 29 games when their opponent scores 5 or more goals in their previous game.
The Chicago Blackhawks are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 games after scoring 5 or more goals in their previous game.
- 10-22 in their last 32 games against the Central division.
- 5-13 in their last 18 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking Minnesota in this matchup. The Wild are once again a solid team and they are due for their first win of the season. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk stifled the Blackhawks last season, stopping 147 of 151 shots which equates to a dazzling 1.01 GAA over four games, plus he went 3-1 in those four games. Furthermore, Minnesota is usually very tough to beat on home ice. They were one of the best home teams in the NHL last season, posting a dominating 27-6-8 record, and they are 23-11 in their last 34 home games overall.
Prediction: Minnesota Wild -160
Full-Game Total Pick
I am taking the over in this one. I expect Minnesota to break out offensively against a Blackhawks team that has not played sharp defense. Chicago has allowed 13 goals in their three games on the season, plus the over is 19-7 in their last 26 road games. Furthermore, the Blackhawks are enjoying a strong start offensively, accumulating 15 goals in three games, and the over is 4-0 in their last four games playing on four days of rest.
Prediction: Over 6
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am taking the under on the Blackhawks team total. The Wild held the Blackhawks to only a combined nine goals in five games last season. Furthermore, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk posted a stifling 2.18 GAA and a .927 save percentage in his 33 games played on home ice last season.
Prediction: Blackhawks Team Total: Under
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking the Wild to score first in this one. The Blackhawks have conceded a combined seven goals in their three games in the first period this season, which is their highest total of any period. In addition, both of Minnesota’ goals this season were scored in the first period. Minnesota is hungry for their first win, and they should come out flying.
Prediction: Minnesota Wild to Score First