Rangers vs. Wild Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Pick Depends on Igor Shesterkin’s Status (March 8)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.
- The Wild are favored on Tuesday night at home against the Rangers.
- Igor Shesterkin has been dominant for New York between the pipe.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down how the goaltender affects the betting value in this game below.
Updated Rangers vs. Wild Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
On Jan. 28, the Wild traveled into MSG and put together a stunning comeback victory, winning 3-2 on the night the Rangers raised the great Henrik Lundqvist's No. 31 into the rafters.
Since then, the Rangers have been on a tear, posting an 8-2-1 record, while the Wild have struggled to a 6-9-0 record. Minnesota has been worse than that record indicates of late, having lost six of its last seven.
Can the Rangers get some retribution here in St. Paul and extend the Wild's slump?
New York Riding NHL's Best Goaltender
After two losses last weekend in a back-to-back against the Penguins and Canucks, the latter of which comes with an asterisk since Igor Shesterkin did not play, the Rangers have responded with three solid victories over St. Louis, New Jersey and Winnipeg.
Shesterkin has stayed hot in those three wins, all but locking up the Vezina Trophy. Chris Kreider also has scored four more goals, as the Rangers continue to make a seemingly unsustainable recipe for success work over and over. Since returning from their long layoff to begin February, the Rangers hold a 48.76 expected goals rate in nine games.
Defensively, the Rangers seem to be playing more passively of late. They're looking to prevent opposing teams getting close to the net, seemingly content to allow some shots from deep that might trouble most goaltenders, but not Shesterkin.
Offensively, the Rangers continue to outscore their expected totals, as well, but it seems in that regard that the metrics don't reflect their attackers' playmaking potential.
The big question for this game will be whether Shesterkin gets the nod again, or if New York will look to give Alex Georgiev a start, possibly trying to show him off for potential trade suitors.
Minnesota's Defense Leaking Goals
Minnesota's struggles continued Sunday, as it was certainly deserving of another loss, in a game where it was outplayed at home by division-rival Dallas.
The Wild have a -14 goal differential and poor 43.62 expected goals rate over their last seven games. The team's play has looked quite disjointed, especially in the defensive zone, where they have looked far worse than any other period of head coach Dean Evason's tenure.
The Wild have allowed 4.85 goals per game over the seven-game slump, with a poor expected goals against mark of 3.25 over that span. The goaltending seen from the tandem of Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen has also been nothing to write home about, compounding the current concerns.
I expect we will see Talbot get the start here, with Kahkonen having been pulled Sunday against Dallas. The battle for starts seems to be pretty even right now. Talbot holds a -4.2 GSAx and .908 save percentage in 34 games this season.
Rangers vs. Wild Pick
Waiting for a confirmation of a Shesterkin start has become crucial when betting Rangers games, and I'll be doing so again here.
Should Shesterkin start, I will be playing the Rangers moneyline at -105 or better. If it's Alex Georgiev between the pipes, I'm going to look toward the over 6 at -105 and would play it down to -140.
This is a contest that I'd expect a desperate Minnesota group to control more of the play against a Rangers team that has allowed a lot of possession and shots, although it certainly may not result in much against Shesterkin.
However, I could definitely see New York managing another opportunistic offensive performance against a Wild team that has allowed a ton of goals of late.
Pick: Rangers +130 (If Shesterkin Starts) Play to -105