December 29, 2016 at 12:52 PM #101238
Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Islanders vs Wild NHL Odds
Looking for New York Islanders vs. Minnesota Wild free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Islanders taking on the Wild on Thursday December 28th at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(14-14-6) New York Islanders vs. Minnesota Wild (22-8-4)
Date: Thursday, December 28th
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Minnesota -193
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds:
NHL Betting Total: 5.0
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An underwhelming first couple of the months for the Islanders looks like it could be turning a corner, but they’ll be tested big time on Thursday night as they take on one of the best from the West in the Minnesota Wild.
New York Islanders
Underwhelming may be a bit of an understatement, and perhaps ‘downright disappointing’ is a better way to sum up the first 30 games of the Isles’ season.
A team that finally got a playoff series victory last year looked to be turning a corner and ready to cement themselves among the likes of the Rangers and Capitals as teams to challenge the Penguins for Metropolitan Division supremacy.
Such has not been the case as the Islanders have been bad for the most part, and at 34 points, sit just one point up on the Devils for last place in the Eastern Conference.
Things look to be turning around a bit for the Isles of late though, as they’ve managed three straight wins to get themselves out of the basement and two of those three came over the Bruins and Capitals.
Thursday’s game is another step up in competition however, as they’ll be taking on a Minnesota team that sits just one point back of the Blackhawks for first in the West, and they have three games in hand on Chicago so one could easily argue that this Wild team is the best in the West right now.
The Isles have been scoring with some regularity of late, potting 13 goals during their current win streak, and they’ll need to find a way to keep that going when they take on one of the league’s toughest defences.
It doesn’t seem to matter who coaches this team, they’ve built a reputation as one of the league’s toughest teams to score on and they’re hanging on to that.
The Wild have surrendered just 68 goals in 34 games, which is absolutely staggering. At two goals against per game, the Wild are on pace to surrender just 164 goals this season. For some comparison, last year’s top defensive team, the Anaheim Ducks, gave up 192 goals on the season…the Wild are on pace to break that mark by nearly 30.
What is perhaps more impressive however, is that with 105 goals scored, this Wild team has more goals than the Chicago Blackhawks…and they’ve played three fewer games.
The Wild are getting it done by committee up front, with Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle leading the way at 29 points each. There’s not a huge dip off in production from the top guys to those chasing them for the team lead as Mikael Granlund (25), Jason Zucker and Nino Niederreiter (22) are chipping in nicely.
Zach Parise looks like he’s having a bad season with just 14 points, but he missed nearly a month between October and November due to injury.
In net, not much to say really, Devan Dubnyk is leading nearly every goaltending category (GAA, SV%, shutouts) and is third in the league in wins.
Free New York Islanders vs. Minnesota Wild NHL Hockey Prediction:
On paper this looks like a certain blowout for the Wild, but the Isles have been finding the net with consistency of late and Minnesota hasn’t been impenetrable of late, giving up eight goals in their last three games.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Islanders +173
Someone’s win streak is coming to an end here, either the Isles’ three-gamer or Minnesota’s staggering 11 game win streak. I think the Isles are in a good spot to play spoiler in what is a bit of a trap game. Minnesota hasn’t played a game at home since Dec. 20 (although that’s broken up by the holiday break). This seems like one where they could come out a bit flat.
NHL Free Score Prediction: New York 3 – Minnesota 2
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