NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Hurricanes vs. Wild (Saturday, Feb. 12)
Darcy Finley/Getty Images. Pictured: Frederik Andersen
- The Hurricanes face the Wild in a matchup between two of the hottest teams in the NHL on Saturday night.
- The Wild have won 8 of their last 10 games, but are they overvalued in a pick'em against the Canes?
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and his best bet below.
Hurricanes vs. Wild Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Minnesota hasn't been good as long as Carolina, but both of these teams are in a similar boat this season; they are looking to prove that they break through in the playoffs after excellent regular seasons last year.
They will have a long ways to wait until that point, but tomorrow night will offer an excellent test, with each in the midst of some truly excellent form of late.
Who is likely to get the best of this showdown between two of the league's elite?
Hurricanes Look to Stay Hot
Consistent with the rest of the season, Carolina sits second in Expected Goals over their last 11 games, with an 8-2-1 record and +17 Goal Differential.
Even more impressive is that both regulation losses over that span have come without Frederik Andersen in goal — and the Canes have been nearly unbeatable with their starter in the net of late.
Carolina has produced elite play in all facets of the game this season, with the NHL's top-ranked Penalty Kill, eighth-ranked Power Play, and strong play-driving numbers at 5-on-5. This has manifested in the NHL's second best points percentage, with a stellar +55 Goal Differential.
They will enter this game at full health (Jake Gardiner hasn't played all season) with Teuvo Teravainen having returned against Boston and with Jesperi Kotkaniemi out of Covid protocol. Teravainen made his presence known with a three-assist effort against the Bruins.
With Teravainen back in the lineup, coach Rod Brind'Amour utilized a top trio featuring him, Sebastien Aho, and Martin Necas, who combined for six points in the contest. They also hold a 57.1 xGF% in a small sample of 43.9 minutes at even strength this season.
Separating Aho and Andrei Svechnikov allows Carolina to skate some elite talent on both top units. The Canes have a deep and well balanced offensive attack, but they also have allowed the fewest Goals Against per game this season.
I expect Carolina to play Freddy Andersen here, as this is a very tough contest, and he has already rested once this week in favor of backup Antti Raanta.
Andersen has been stellar in his first season with the Canes, with a league leading +25.0 Goals Saved Above Expected rating and a .930 Save % in 32 games this season.
Will the Wild Bounce Back?
The Wild enter with an 8-1-1 record over their last 10 and a 56.43 Expected Goals Rate. They will look to bounce back after a quiet showing in Tuesday's 2-0 loss in Winnipeg in their first game out of the All-Star break.
Minnesota has a strong roster, with a great top four defense corps, and is set to play at full health with Matt Dumba returning to action.
Offensively Minnesota is possibly even stronger than expected as Ryan Hartman is having a career season between Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov on a strong top line.
The third line of Matthew Boldy, Frederick Gaudreau, and Kevin Fiala illustrates the club's depth. Both Boldy and Gaudreau have quietly shown more and more at the NHL level of late.
The club's downfall compared to some top contenders may be in goal, but even still, Cam Talbot has been solid this season and is still above league average. Talbot holds a .913 Save % with a +1.8 Goals Saved Above Expected rating in 17 games played.
Minnesota is a very good team, and this is one of those spots where it shouldn't be taken as much of a slight that I will be fading them.
This is instead a reflection of where I feel this Carolina team's play is at, and that I would really be playing them as a slight underdog against next to all competition.
Carolina has continued to improve as the season has gone on. This has put to rest any doubts about losing Dougie Hamilton in the offseason and Frederik Andersen stepping into the starting goaltending role.
Both of these clubs likely hold more capable depth scorers than most would realize, but I give a slight advantage here to the Canes.
Furthermore, Frederik Andersen gives Carolina at least somewhat of an edge in goal here over Cam Talbot, which again isn't much of slight towards Talbot's steady season.
I see value backing the Canes at -105 and would play them down to -120 in a game which certainly could be the most interesting on Saturday's slate.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes -105 (Play to -120)