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NHL Free Pick: Canucks vs. Wild Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview

NHL Lines: Vancouver vs Minnesota Pick

Monday night in the NHL will feature an important game between the Vancouver Canucks (29-19-3) and the Minnesota Wild (25-20-6). Cappers Picks will provide free NHL picks all season so check back often.

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Vancouver vs Minnesota
When: Monday Feb. 9 at 8:00 pm EST
Where: Xcel Energy Center 
TV:Sportsnet
NHL Gambling Line: Vancouver +130/ Minnesota -144
NHL Gambling Over Under Line: 5
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There is still too much time left in the season for this to be classified as a must-win game for either team, but these points are still valuable to both the Canucks and Wild tonight.

Minnesota has been on a roll lately, winning five straight games and clawing back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

The Canucks are hanging on to third in the Pacific Division right now, but have a pile of teams in their rear view mirror and they can ill-afford to go on any kind of slide.

Canucks

The visitors are coming off one of their biggest wins of the season, a 5-0 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Canucks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Pittsburgh and never looked back after that.

Part of that win could be attributed to the fact that Pittsburgh was closing out a western road trip and were playing their third game in four nights, but that’s what playoff caliber teams are supposed to do, beat the teams that come into your building a little bit tired.

The Canucks will have a much tougher test on Monday when they take on a Wild team that has been dominant of late.

Vancouver has been very solid on the road this season, posting a 15-8-2 record and are one of the rare teams in the NHL that has a better winning percentage away from home than they do in their own barn.

Despite that impressive record away from Rogers Arena however, the Central Division (where the Wild reside) has given the Canucks problems and they are just 4-6 against the Central, including a 4-2 loss to the Wild just over a week ago.

Wild

The Minnesota Wild have found their formula again, and that is strong defensive hockey and some solid goaltending. Devan Dubnyk should already be a front runner for February’s league MVP as he has won all three of his starts and posted two shut outs in the process.

The netminder has three shutouts in this current five game win streak and has allowed just three goals during this run.

Since taking over the starting gig in Minnesota, Dubnyk has put up Vezina type numbers with a 1.48 GAA and .943 SV% to go along with six wins in eight games.

The Wild do boast a pretty talented group of forwards that includes Zach Parise, Tomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu, along with some lesser known players like Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker who may not be household names just yet but have combined to score 33 goals for Minnesota this season.

Ryan Suter is a horse on the back end and he’s complimented by a group of guys who aren’t flashy but are very effective (Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin are all on the happy side of the +/- ratings and Brodin is second on the team at +10).

Canucks vs. Wild 4* Free Pick

This is sure to become a mini-rivalry as this is the second meeting of three that these teams will have in a span of just over two weeks.

The Wild knocked off Vancouver 4-2 in Vancouver last Sunday and the Canucks are coming off a confidence inspiring five goal outburst.

Minnesota will play the Canucks a lot tighter than Pittsburgh did on Saturday, but goals build confidence and I think the Canucks can get a few past Dubnyk tonight and make it interesting.

Take the Wild to win at home.

This looks destined for a 2-2 score and will be settled in OT or shootout where I’d give the edge to Minnesota.

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About Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.


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