NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wild vs. Devils (November 24)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: P.K. Subban.
Wild vs. Devils Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New Jersey Devils host the Minnesota Wild at Prudential Center tonight. Both teams are playing quality hockey, and are sure to give the fans a barn burner at “The Rock.”
Minnesota currently stands atop the loaded Central Division. It was a tough weekend for the Wild with two close losses in Florida as they lost two very close games in Florida and head to New Jersey on a losing streak.
The Devils are having a wonderful start after a very successful offseason. They too are coming off of two consecutive losses in Florida and a three-day break.
Minnesota Has Exciting Young Core
You couldn’t ask for a better start if you’re a Wild fan.
Production is being spread out from all angles. Kirill Kaprizov is one of the league’s best young players, averaging about a point a game, Ryan Hartman is having the best start of his career, and how about Rem Pitlick? The 24-year-old Nashville third-round pick has made his mark on this team with seven points in nine games.
There is a ton of hockey to be played still, but the Wild are in a great position moving forward.
With such a spread out offense, it’s no surprise that the Wild are one of the better teams at creating offense. Minnesota has the fifth-best expected goals per 60 minutes rate with a 2.89 xGF. While it could generate more high-danger chances, it’s nothing to be concerned about. The Wilds’ special teams have been fairly middle of the road as their power play stands at 17.9%.
After a hot start, Minnesota’s goaltending has been a glaring weakness for this team. No. 1 Cam Talbot seems to be getting worse with a .905 save percentage and lowly -1.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Backup Kaapo Kahkonen hasn’t been much better with an .870 save percentage and even worse -3.1 GSAx through four games. Since Kahkonen started their last game, I expect Talbot to get the nod in this bout.
Devils Led By Thriving Defense
The Devils have to be one of the more intriguing teams in this league with an abundance of talent. While their main piece of the core Jack Hughes is still out with a dislocated shoulder, players like Dawson Mercer (12 points), Jesper Bratt (12), and Pavel Zacha (11) are carrying the load.
Along with a quality forward core, New Jersey is also carried by an underrated defense with Dougie Hamilton, P.K. Subban and Ryan Graves. All around, the Devils are one of the more dangerous teams in the NHL.
With all the talent it has, New Jersey has been above average at generating play. The Devils are 13th in the league with an expected goals per 60 minutes rate of 2.41 while creating 161 high-danger chances. While they have a legitimate 5-on-5, their power play is subpar at a 14.9% clip.
New Jersey has a solid committee in the crease with two respectable goaltenders in Jonathan Bernier and Mackenzie Blackwood. Many speculate that Blackwood will be on Team Canada this upcoming February. He’s currently posting a .921 save percentage with a 4.0 GSAx. Bernier has been steady his whole career isn’t too far behind with a .916 save percentage and a 2.9 GSAx.
Regardless of who starts for the Devils, they know they will get quality goaltending.
Wild vs. Devils Pick
I wouldn’t be surprised if this game is a barnburner. Both teams come in with high-powered offenses, but Minnesota’s goaltending will be the X-factor. If Talbot is leaky, then I think New Jersey comes out of this game on top.
Kaprizov will most definitely get his because of his ability to slip through defenses, no matter how good the opposition is. However, one man can only do so much.
Pick: Devils +105