NHL Hockey Betting: Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames

NHL Hockey Betting:  Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Minnesota Wild got the stretch run of the NHL season off to a good start on Tuesday night as they ripped the Edmonton Oilers. Now they’ll face a tricky game in a back to back spot as they head to Calgary to take on the erratic Flames. The Flames are in the middle of the pack in the Pacific Division trying to break away from the rest of the ‘second tier’ teams. They’re 25-24-3 with 53 points putting them 1 up on Los Angeles and Vancouver but 10 back of third place Anaheim and 11 back of co-leaders San Jose and Edmonton. They entered the All Star Break 3-6-1 but won their last game. This has been something of an atypical year for Calgary. In recent years, the Flames have had little trouble putting the puck in the net. Their issue has been keeping it out of their own goal. That’s a bit different this year. Their defense is still nothing special ranking #18 (2.8 goals against per game) but is starting to show at least a little consistency behind the goaltending tandem of Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott. Their problem has been on offense where they’re #21 putting up 2.5 goals per game. Special teams haven’t been great either–they’re #14 on the power play and #18 on the penalty kill. The good news is that they’re healthy now and they’ve definitely got the playmakers in the lineup.

The Minnesota Wild didn’t exactly ‘come out of nowhere’ but their extremely high level of play has been something of a surprise. They won 14 straight at one point and concluded the pre-All Star break portion of their schedule by going on an 8-2-0 run. Devan Dubnyk has been a monster in net (big surprise there) but he’s received plenty of help from his forwards. The Wild are #2 in scoring defense (2.2 goals per game) but also #3 in goals per game (3.3). When a team is scoring goals and has a goalie of Dubnyk’s skill they’re going to be tough to beat. Special teams are also in good shape–the power play is #10 in the league (21.5%) and the penalty kill is 84.2% for #5 in the NHL.

Interesting matchup. The Flames have the advantage of being rested but the Wild started backup Darcy Kuemper in net last night and have confirmed Dubnyk here to face (most likely) Chad Johnson. The back to back spot is a concern but overall Minnesota is just too good.


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