Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#71 Minnesota Wild 5 vs.
#72 Arizona Coyotes -145
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 8:05pm EST
Gila River Arena, Glendale
Written by Scott Reichel

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This Saturday, there is a matchup between two Western Conference teams. Specifically, the Minnesota Wild and the Arizona Coyotes will face off at about 8:00 PM. This is the first meeting between these teams in this regular season and it will take place at the Gila River Arena.

Goalie Matchup:The Wild will turn toDevan Dubnyk (2-7-1, 3.64 GAA)and the Coyotes will turn toDarcy Kuemper (7-4-0, 1.82 GAA).

Wild Continue To Struggle On The Road

So far this season, the Minnesota Wild have been absolutely terrible. Specifically, the Wild have won less than a third of their games which has placed the organization in last place in the Central Division. The main reason why they have struggled has been their terrible play on the road this season. Specifically, the Wild have one of the worst road records in the entire NHL as they are just 2-9-0 away from home. If Minnesota plans on turning its season around, it will need to start playing a lot better on the road. Perhaps Saturday will be the day that the Wild start playing better when they are on the highway.

Leading the Wild offensively will be center Eric Staal who has looked okay so far this season. Specifically, he has six goals and eight assists in just 16 games played. However, he has a Plus/Minus rating of -9 so the Wild have struggled keeping their opposition from scoring whenever he is on the ice. Staal has had a fantastic NHL career and he has shown no signs of slowing down at the age of 34.

The starting goalie for the Wild in this game will be Devan Dubnyk who has been awful so far this season. Specifically, he has a 2-7-1, 3.64 GAA along with a .883 save percentage. Last season, Dubnyk went 1-2-0 with a 2.39 GAA and a .896 save percentage against the Coyotes so he will look for much better results against them on Saturday night.

Coyotes Look To Move Up In Division Standings

So far this season, the Arizona Coyotes have looked pretty good in the Western Conference. Specifically, they enter this game with a 7-4-1 record which is impressive up to this point. However, that record has not been good enough to separate them from the pack in the Pacific Division. Specifically, the Coyotes are still in possession of sixth place despite having a winning record. As a result, one can expect Arizona to be in a serious fight for a playoff spot all season long. Therefore, a win in this game would help move the Coyotes up in the division standings which would bring them closer to a playoff spot.

Leading the Coyotes offensively is centerNick Schmaltz who has been solid so far this season. Specifically, he already has four goals and ten assists in 16 games played. In addition, he has recorded at least one point in three of his last four games so he will look to continue his recent success on Saturday night.

The starting goalie for the Coyotes in this game will be Darcy Kuemper who has been great so far this season. Specifically, he has a 7-4-0 record and a 1.82 GAA along with a .937 save percentage. Last season, Kuemper had a 1-1-0 record and a 1.01 GAA along with a .970 save percentage. Now, he will look to play just as well against Minnesota on Saturday night.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Coyotes have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the NHL up to this point while the Wild have looked like one of the worst teams in the league. The Wild have also been terrible on the road this season and I think that they have already quit on the season. Minnesota has played with no energy all season long and a trip to the desert should make that lack of energy even more noticeable. Give me the home team as a result.

Prediction: Arizona Coyotes

Full-Game Total Pick

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Even though Kuemper has been amazing this season, Dubnyk has been terrible up to this point so I think the goalies will cancel each other out in terms of the total. In today's NHL, a total of five goals is almost unheard of and I have to take the over as a result. There is always a chance for overtime which will yield a push or an empty net goal that can get this game over the total. I think there are more ways that this game will go over the posted total than than under the posted total so I have to take the over.

Prediction: Over 5

Half-Time Side Pick

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Overall, the Coyotes are the much better team in this matchup and should start out with an early lead in front of the home fans on Saturday. The Wild are just 2-9 on the road so I think that Minnesota will come out flat as usual in this game as Arizona enters the first intermission with a lead. Plus, Arizona will be looking to improve its position in the standings so this game the Coyotes will not take this game for granted. Give me the home team.

Prediction: Arizona Coyotes 1P ML
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.