Minnesota Wild (5-8 SU, 7-6 PL, 8-4-1 O/U) vs Montreal Canadiens (7-9 SU, 4-12 PL, 10-5-1 O/U)
When: 7:35 PM EST, Thursday, November 9, 2017
Where: Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
Lines: Montreal -145/Minnesota +125
The Central Division will duke it out with the Atlantic Division this evening as the Minnesota Wild grapples with the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The Wild will be playing on no rest as they have a road game against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, while the Canadiens are off a 3-2 home win over the Golden Knights. Goalie Probables: The Wild will be sending out Alex Stalock in this one and he will be opposed by Carey Price or Charlie Lindgren.
Struggles Continue For The Wild
The Minnesota Wild continue to struggle in the early part of the season and right now it has been their offense that is letting them down. They are right in the middle of the pack as far as scoring goes for the season, but they come in having averaged just 2.40 gpg in their last five. They have gone just 2-3 over that stretch. The Wild have just five wins on the year overall and are currently in last place in the Central Division. They have been solid at the other end of the ice as they have allowed just 2.50 gpg over their last nine games. Now if they could get the offense on the same page. The Wild have gone 2-4 on the road for the year. Minnesota has been led by Chris Stewart, who has six goals on the year, while Jared Spurgeon leads them in points with 10. Devan Dubnyk will be getting the start on Wednesday night, so getting the start in this one will be Alex Stalock and he has gone 1-2 with a 2.45 GAA and a .925 save percentage on the year, including 1-1 with a 2.53 GAA and a .932 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 14-17 with a 2.62 GAA on the road and 5-1 with a 1.69 GAA during the month of November, plus he is 5-4 with a 1.94 GAA against the Atlantic Division, including 1-00 with a 0.0 GAA against the Canadiens.
The Wild have been an average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 15th in the league in scoring at 3.08 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots taken (29.1 spg) and 19th in power play conversions, converting on 17.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have below above average so far as they come in ranked 18th in goals allowed, giving up 3.00 gpg, while also ranking 18th in shots allowed (32.3 spg) and 10th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.0% of their chances.
Habs Could Be Turning Things Around
The Montreal Canadiens are starting to play much better as they come into this game having won their last three games in a row and five of their last six, after going just 2-8 to start the year. They have climbed out of the basement of the Atlantic Division and will now look to keep it going against a struggling Minnesota squad. The offense was very poor in the early going, but they have found it of late as they have averaged 4.33 gpg over their last six games. That compares to averaging just 1.80 gpg over their first 10 games. They come in off a 3-2 home win over the Golden Knights and scoring for the Habs in the win was Brendan Gallagher, which was his 7th of the year, Jordie Benn, which was his 1st of the year and Max Pacioretty, which was his 6th of the year. The Habs have gone 3-3 here at home for the year. Grabbing the win against the Golden Knights was Charlie Lindgren and he stopped 29 of the 31 shots that he faced to improve to 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .971 save percentage on the year. Carey Price is listed as questionable for this one and if he gets the start then we note that he is 3-8 with a 3.77 GAA and a .877 save percentage on the year, including 2-3 with a 3.22 GAA and a .875 save percentage at home. In his career, he has gone 152-125 with a 2.27 GAA at home and 50-36 with a 2.18 GAA during November, while against the Central Division he has gone 26-29 with a 2.42 GAA and he has gone 4-6 with a 3.21 GAA against the Wild.
The Canadiens have been really poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 28th in the league in scoring at 2.54 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots taken (37.5 spg) and 29th in power play conversions, converting on 13.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very poor as they come in ranked 29th in goals allowed, giving up 3.92 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots allowed (30.6%) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23.9% of their chances.
- 5-11 in their last 16 road games
- 38-17 in their last 55 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- 5-2 in their last seven in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
The Montreal Canadiens had a rough start to their year, but they seem to been coming out of it as they have won five of their last six games. The Wild are struggling and they clearly do not look like the same team that had the 2nd most points in the West a year ago. Their offense is struggling right now, while the Habs have finally got their offense going. The Wild are playing on no rest, while Montreal has had rest and we not that the home team is 8-2 the last 10 games in this series. I feel that the Canadiens will ride their momentum to another win as they take out a struggling Minnesota squad, even though Price has struggled against them in his career.