This game is sure to be intense, as the Minnesota Wild host the Vancouver Canucks. The Minnesota Wild come into this game ranked 24th in the NHL, posting a record of 24-22-6 this season. The Wild are coming in slow, going 4-5-1 over their last 10 games. The Vancouver Canucks rank 10th in the NHL with a record of 30-19-5 thus far. Vancouver has gone 13-14-2 on the road so far this season. Despite these two teams trending in opposite directions, this is the NHL, which means any team can take away a win and get things right on any given night.
Vancouver Canucks Look for Huge Road WinThe road team looks to take down the Sabres tonight as the Vancouver Canucks do battle with the Buffalo Sabres in tonight's matchup. The Vancouver Canucks rank 17th in the NHL in goals scored per game when on the road this season. JT Miller has been a stud this season, racking up 52 points in just 53 games this season and will need to be a sniper tonight to take down the thundering Sabres.
The Canucks rank 23rd in the NHL when it comes to goals allowed per game when on the road. Jacob Markstrom has been solid between the pipes all year long and will need to be a stone wall here tonight to take on Buffalo's offense. The Canucks have done a terrible job of helping out their goalie and need to start blocking more shots and taking away some passing lanes.
Minnesota Wild Continue Home Dominance
The Wild are struggling early, but there are signs of a turnaround to come. Minnesota have been scoring fine when at home, ranking 15th in the NHL in goals scored per game. They have been able to find their touch when they play on their home ice. Eric Staal, the former 2003 1st round draft pick, is leading the Wild in scoring with 39 points in over 52 games. Staal and Zach Parise are going to need to increase their numbers if they want to start winning some tough home games where the bottom lines may struggle to produce.
The Wild allow a 15th ranked defense in goals allowed per game when at home. Both goalies Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock have been splitting time, and for the majority of games, they have been composed. They save around 90% of shots faced which is not amazing but is not bad either. Unfortunately, they usually get a lackluster performance from the goal-scoring perspective resulting in a loss even when they hang tough and make some good saves. If they want to pull off this upset, the goalies will need some support from the skaters on the other side of the puck or even a brilliant performance could all be for nothing.
- Wild are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Wild are 1-4 in their last 5 games following a win.
- Canucks are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Canucks are 10-1 in their last 11 vs. Western Conference.