Minnesota Wild vs. Montreal Canadiens Odds, Picks: NHL Betting Guide
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Spurgeon celebrates with the Minnesota bench.
- The Wild are road favorites in tonight's NHL matchup with the Canadiens.
- Minnesota has struggled to start the season, while Montreal has been a surprise to many.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Wild vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
It's only October and would be crazy to say that this is a must-win game for the Minnesota Wild. But considering how horrible the start of the season has been for them, they really need to come into Montreal and get two points against the Canadiens in order to feel good about themselves.
Montreal has gotten off to a better start than most people expected as it is 3-3-0 to begin the season. The Canadiens have won two out of their last three games, so they are coming into this contest feeling pretty confident about themselves as a group.
Marc-Andre Fleury will be in the cage for the Wild and he needs to have a strong performance to help get his team back on the right track.
Wild's Troubles Are In Net
It's been a very ugly start in the state of hockey as the Wild find themselves with a 1-3-1 record and the worst goals-against average in the entire National Hockey League. Minnesota is currently allowing 5.40 goals against per game and this is largely due to its horrendous goaltending.
Fleury has started four games and has a record of 1-1-1 with a .847 SV% and a 5.25 GAA along with a league-worst, -6.5 GSAx. This has to be the worst start to a season in Fleury's entire career.
His backup, Filip Gustavsson, has not been much of a help, even though he's technically been the better of the two. Gustavsson is 0-2-0 with a .860 SV% and a 5.06 GAA with a -2.6 GAA.
Thankfully for the Wild, they have been able to provide offense to try and make up for the lack of goaltending. The Wild are scoring 3.80 goals per game, which is the sixth-best mark in the league.
Mats Zuccarrello, Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy have looked right up to speed and are doing everything they can to help make the Wild competitive. I expect these three to show up tonight and continue to produce on the man advantage, which is the second-best in the league converting at 36.4%.
If the Wild can get power play opportunities, they should be able to win this game with no problem.
Canadiens Have Been an Early Surprise
The Canadiens have been a very pleasant surprise thus far to start the NHL season. It is evident that they have bought into their coach, Martin St. Louis, and they are trying to be as competitive as possible this season.
They haven't been producing as much as they'd like offensively as they are only averaging 2.67 goals per game, but Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki have had promising starts. Caufield has four goals in the team's first six games and Suzuki has three of his own, but they are going to need some more contributions from other players on the roster.
Even though they are off to a solid start, for them, they have still been struggling a bit on both sides of the puck. The Canadiens are only averaging 9.17 scoring chances per game, which has them ranked 30th in the league, and on the flip side they are giving up 11.93 chances against per game which ranks them at 29th.
Jake Allen is expected to get the nod for the Habs and this season he is 2-2-0 with a .913 SV% and a 2.77 GAA with a +2.8 GSAx. He's been pretty decent in the blue paint.
Wild vs. Canadiens Pick
Even though the goaltending might not be there for the Wild right now, I feel that they are going to play this game with a ton of desperation. Last year, the Wild won both of the meetings between these two teams, outscoring the Canadiens 10-2 in those two games combined.
The Wild are a good hockey team in a tough funk, but playing against an opponent as weak as Montreal can possibly help get them out of this rut. The Wild have no issue putting pucks in the back of the net so I am relying on their offense to help lead the way in this contest. It's very hard to trust a team like Montreal because you truly never know what kind of effort you are going to get.
I like Minnesota in this spot as a more desperate team and I think they get the job done in 60 minutes.
Pick:Minnesota Wild 3-way (-120)