Friday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Arizona Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks
John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Shattenkirk
- The Arizona Coyotes take on the Anaheim Ducks in Friday's NHL action.
- This could be a decent matchup between Western Conference sides, but the Ducks are heavy favorites.
- Check out below why analyst Jacob McKenna thinks Anaheim should roll to the victory.
Coyotes vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Arizona will make the short trip over to California on Friday to take on the Ducks in what is the start of a three-game road trip for the Coyotes.
Anaheim has been on a roll this season, and as a result sits in first place in the Pacific Division with a record of 17-9-5. On the other hand, Arizona has only managed to string together five total wins.
The Coyotes have already fallen victim to Anaheim once this season, a game in which the Ducks won by a score of 3-1. Will we see a similar outcome in this matchup, or can Arizona figure things out and pull off the upset on the road?
The Arizona Tank Continues
Nothing is going right for this Coyotes team this season. As previously mentioned, they have only managed to win five of their first 28 games and enter this matchup with just 12 total points, the least in the NHL.
A lot of their issues stem from their inability to produce on the offensive end of the ice. In 5-on-5 situations, Arizona has scored a total of just 39 goals and is averaging 1.91 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60), both of which rank in the bottom two of the league. In addition, this team is only putting 25.7 shots on goal per game, making the lives of their opponents rather easy.
The Coyotes have run into plenty of issues defensively as well in 5-on-5. They have surrendered the fourth most goals to their opponents, and they are allowing an average of 2.87 goals per 60 minutes.
They can’t seem to do much right, but I guess that is to be expected from a franchise that is currently in the midst of a massive rebuild.
Scott Wedgewood is expected to get the start in net on Friday. In 5-on-5 this year, Wedgewood has an SV % of .920 and +0.5 Goals Saved Above Expected.
The Surprising Ducks
This season has been full of success so far far Anaheim, making them one of the biggest surprises in the NHL up to this point. They enter this matchup with 39 total points, the eighth most in the NHL and only three back of the Lightning for first.
The Ducks have made massive strides as a team, improving several aspects of their game since last season. During the 2020-21 season, Anaheim only managed to produce 2.11 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes and 9.55 High Dangers chances per 60 minutes (HDCF/60) in 5-on-5 situations, ranking in the bottom half of the league in both categories.
However, the Ducks have improved those numbers dramatically, and this season now have an xGF/60 of 2.46 and are producing 11.61 High Danger Chances per 60 minutes, the eighth most in the NHL.
This is not a bad defensive unit either. Anaheim is giving up just 2.58 goals per game, the seventh fewest in the NHL. Their high-level defense has been on display recently too, allowing just five total goals in their last five games.
John Gibson is listed as out for this game due to a lower-body injury, meaning Anthony Stolarz is likely to get the start in net. Stolarz has been great this season for the Ducks, posting an SV % of .953 and 5.5 Goals Saved Above Expected.
Ducks vs. Coyotes Pick
There is a significant gap in the level of talent between these two squads, and as a result I think we are likely to see Anaheim take care of business.
Arizona simply does not have the fire power on offense to keep itself in many games, and the Coyotes’ defense and goaltending has not been nearly good enough to make up for it. The Coyotes have a goal differential of -54, the worst in the NHL, and in their last six games they are being outscored 27-10 by their opponents.
The Ducks have been great on their home ice this season, posting a record of 10-4-2, and have already beaten Arizona once by two goals. I think they are positioned well to do so again.
Pick: Anaheim -1.5 (-110)