Battle of the Northwest Best
The Vancouver Canucks suddenly have company atop the Northwest Division standings. The Minnesota Wild have taken full advantage of Vancouver’s unflattering stretch and have overtaken the Canucks in the standings.
Vancouver now sits in seventh place in the West.
This will be the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams – Vancouver won the first two and Minnesota won last time, 4-2 on March 10. Vancouver has won a staggering 11 straight in their own building against Minnesota however and they outscored the Wild 40-15 over that span.
Minnesota Wild (15-10-1-1) at Vancouver Canucks (13-8-1-2)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, March 18, 2013
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: FS-WI, FS-N+, SNET-P
Wild vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog
Minnesota Wild +1½ -215 +140 Ov 5 -102
Vancouver Canucks -1½ +185 -154 Un 5 -108
The Minnesota Wild have been on some sort of tear recently. A 7-3-0 stretch has them atop the Northwest standings and looking terrific heading into their first place showdown with the Canucks on Monday.
The reason for the recent uptick? Goal scoring. The Wild have scored four or more goals in five of their last seven games and netted a total of 11 during their home-and-home sweep of the Colorado Avalanche on the weekend.
They have average three goals per game while winning nine of their last 13 games.
Minnesota was the most anemic offense in the game for the first half of the season but have found another gear as of late. Devin Setoguchi has four goals in the past three games for the Wild, Ryan Suter has a goal and four assists in the past two games, Matt Cullen has five assists in the past four games, Zach Parise has six points in four games and on and on.Things are good for the Wild – all four lines are contributing and when they are scoring, they are a very difficult team to handle.The Vancouver Canucks entered Saturday night’s game against Detroit with a ton of confidence after an offensive explosion against Nashville, and it didn’t take long for them to keep the roll going–six seconds to be exact, when Alex Burrows scored to kick the game off against the Wings.
But it took another 57 minutes for the Canucks to score again on their way to a 5-2 loss.
Offensively, Vancouver looked OK against the Wings–plenty of shots and a number of good chances. But after Saturday they have now scored two or less goals in six of their last seven games and the power play has not score in 11 games – 11! Vancouver is 0-for 29 and counting with the man advantage over that span – not good!
Vancouver will likely go back to Cory Schneider Monday after Roberto Luongo had his second straight poor outing against Detroit. Schneider is 0-1-1 in his last two starts with a 2.95 GAA and .898 save % while Roberto Luongo has a 4.14 GAA in his last five starts.
Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction
A few trends to consider:
• Over is 6-2-1 in MIN last 9 overall.
• Over is 6-2-1 in MIN last 9 vs. Western Conference.
• MIN are 10-29 in their last 39 road games.
• Over is 11-3-1 in VAN last 15 overall.
• VAN are 42-14 in their last 56 vs. Northwest.
• MIN are 3-9 in the last 12 meetings.
• Home team is 20-8 in the last 28 meetings.
The Vancouver Canucks have done well traditionally against Minnesota, but there is no doubt that they are struggling to look like the elite team they are.
Minnesota is scorching hot at the moment while Vancouver looks lost. Take the road team to bust the recent trend between the two clubs and emerge victorious in a terrifically entertaining game. Vancouver will get back on track, just not quite yet!
Pick: Minnesota Wild +140