Thursday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Minnesota Wild vs. Philadelphia Flyers Betting Preview
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mats Zuccarello
- The Philadelphia Flyers host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in their NHL showdown.
- The Wild have lost four consecutive games, but should you trust the offense to revive itself in Philadelphia?
- Jonny Lazarus takes a deep dive into the meeting below and gives his top selection.
Wild vs. Flyers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Minnesota Wild come into Philadelphia playing their worst stretch of hockey this season, but luckily for them, the Flyers are a weak enough opponent for them to get out of their funk.
The Flyers were held scoreless by the Edmonton Oilers in their last game by the score of 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Minnesota Looking to End Latest Slide
The Minnesota Wild are in the midst of their worst stretch of the season, and while it seemed like they were a guarantee to make the playoffs, that might not be the case.
The Wild have been one of the strongest offensive teams all season long as they are currently ranked fourth, scoring 3.67 goals per game, but during this drought they have been outscored by a combined 19-8.
In their defense, three out of the last four games were against tough opponents. Two of those games were against the Calgary Flames, who are the best team in the Pacific Division and the hottest team in the NHL right now. The Flyers are a much weaker opponent whom the Wild should take advantage of.
The most impressive aspect of Minnesota’s offensive success this season is its 5-on-5 play. They are the second-best team in the NHL right now at producing at 5-on-5, averaging 3.22 goals per game. Most of the WIld’s production has come from the newly formed dynamic duo of Kirll Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. Kaprizov has 24 goals and 40 assists in 50 games, and Zuccarello has 17 goals and 36 assists in 53 games.
Minnesota’s goaltending has been strong all year, but both netminders struggled to slow down the Calgary Flames. Kaapo Kahkonen started the game in Calgary on Saturday night and allowed five goals on 33 shots. Cam Talbot started the most recent game in Minnesota against the Flames and allowed four goals on 26 shots.
The Wild haven’t announced a starter for this contest yet, but both Kahkonen and Talbot are reliable enough to get a win and end this streak.
Can Philadelphia Pull Off Home Upset?
The Flyers have not looked like a very good hockey team this year as they are in last place in the Metropolitan Division with a 16-27-10 record. They have lost four of their last five games and have only scored nine goals in that span. The offensive production has not come easily for Philly this year as the Flyers currently have the 29th-ranked offense, only scoring 2.47 goals per game.
Claude Giroux and Cam Atkinson have led the way for the Flyers, but their numbers aren’t all that impressive. Giroux has 18 goals and 21 assists in 53 games, and Atkinson has 17 goals and 22 assists in 50 games.
However, the Flyers only have three players with at least 30 points. Behind Giroux and Atkinson is Travis Konecny who has eight goals and 23 assists in 51 games. The Flyers’ lack of scoring has been the main reason for their failures this season.
Philly has named Carter Hart as the starting goaltender for this one. Hart has been much better than his record shows this year. He is 10-17-6 on the season with a .912 Save Rercentage and a +4.3 Goals Saved Above Expected. The Flyers don’t do a great job in front of him as the Flyers are currently allowing 33.6 shots against per game, which ranks 27th in the league. Carter Hart will have his work cut out for him Thursday night.
Wild vs. Flyers Pick
These two teams will be meeting for the first time this season, and despite the Wild losing four in a row, they are the much better team in this matchup.
Minnesota’s special teams haven’t been the best all year, they have the 19th best Power Play and the 20th-best Penalty Kill, but the Flyers have struggled mightily on both the man advantage and man down. The Flyers’ Power Play is ranked 30th, and their Penalty Kill is 26th, so there is a slight disadvantage in that department.
The Wild have been a solid team on the road, posting a record of 15-12-2 and the Flyers have been very poor on home ice as they are just 9-14-5. This is a great opportunity for the Wild to get back in the win column, I think they’ll get the job done in regulation.
Pick: Minnesota Wild to Win in Regulation -140