The Minnesota Wild recently fired their head coach in a last-ditch attempt to make the playoffs, and the Wild make their lone visit of the season to Ohio on Friday night to face the Columbus Blue Jackets, who also are battling for a playoff spot. Columbus is favored on the Mybookie NHL odds. Let’s see how the NHL odds will be for the Wild vs Blue Jackets.
Wild vs Blue Jackets 2020 NHL Game Preview & Betting Odds
- When: Friday, 7 PM ET
- Where: Nationwide Arena
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Opening NHL Lines: Blue Jackets -125, Wild +115 (total 5.5)
Wild vs Blue Jackets Last Meeting
The teams just played Tuesday and Minnesota was a 5-4 home winner. Mikko Koivu scored twice to snap a 30-game goalless drought, and Eric Staal added his 18th goal for the Jackets. Alex Stalock made 24 saves and Ryan Donato and Kevin Fiala also scored. Nick Foligno, Emil Bemstrom, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Zach Werenski scored for Columbus, which was playing without goaltender Elvis Merzlikins and forward Riley Nash. Matiss Kivlenieks made the start in goal and stopped 35 shots in just his fifth NHL game.
Why Bet on Minnesota?
Second of a back-to-back for Minnesota, which played at NHL-worst Detroit on Thursday. The Wild are 2-3-1 in the second of a B2B this season. Entering Thursday, the Wild were 11-7-2 in their last 20 road games, scoring three-or-more goals in 15 of those 20 contests. Minnesota has totaled 73 goals in that span, ranking second in the NHL in road goals/game (3.65) since Nov. 5.
Alex Stalock started that one so it should be Devan Dubnyk here. Dubnyk allowed four goals on 26 shots in last Sunday’s 4-1 home loss against the St. Louis Blues. Dubnyk was an All-Star last season, but he slips to 11-15-2 this season with a 3.34 goals-against average and .892 save percentage in his 29 appearances this season. He has allowed three or more goals in each of his past three outings, and nine of his past 12. Stalock has largely passed him on the depth chart.
The Wild nearly traded franchise icon Zach Parise before Monday’s deadline to the Islanders, but the deal fell apart at the last minute. Wild general manager Bill Guerin, who’s in his first year running the team, took the uncommon approach of publicly acknowledging Monday after the deadline that he had discussed a deal involving Parise.
Parise has 11 goals with the man advantage, which ranks tied for fourth in the NHL. Parise has 21 goals overall and also leads the Wild in that department. Parise is still a solid contributor, but he’s not worth his $7.5 million cap hit at this point and that’s only going to get worse given that the contract runs through 2024-25. The 35-year-old Parise, as he’s skating toward the end of his 15th season in the NHL, has not been shy about voicing his heightened urgency to win a Stanley Cup.
Ryan Suter has reached 40 points a fifth straight season and is one of seven NHL defensemen to record 40-plus points in each of the last five seasons: Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Erik Karlsson, Torey Krug, Suter and Keith Yandle. Suter has 33 points (5-28=33) in the last 42 games, including eight multi-point contests.
- Goals: 3.14
- Shots: 30.03
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.03
- Goals: 3.21
- Shots: 30.48
- PP/PK Percentage: 23.53
Why Bet on Columbus?
While the Wild have played since Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Columbus, the Blue Jackets haven’t. They were missing 11 members of their regular lineup on Tuesday. Winger Josh Anderson is likely done for the season and could need surgery to repair his shoulder injury. Anderson has only appeared in 26 games for the Blue Jackets this season. He has one goal and three assists. It is a far cry from last season when he managed to hit career highs in goals (27) and points (47).
With so many players missing from the lineup, rookie Emil Bemstrom has stepped up in a big way in recent days, scoring in each of the past three games and giving the Blue Jackets some much-needed offense. Bemstrom has taken 85 shots this season (1.67 shots per game) in all situations. He has seven shots in the past three games, which equates to 2.33 shots/game. Bemstrom, who has 8-10-18 this season, is tied for sixth among rookie forwards in goals.
No. 1 netminder Joonas Korpisalo did not start Tuesday’s game due to the club not wanting to push him coming off of knee surgery.
Korpisalo played for Columbus’ AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, on Saturday and came in relief of Elvis Merzlikins (undisclosed) on Monday. Starting Tuesday would have meant Korpisalo would have played three games in four nights, something the club was just not comfortable with that. Expect Korpisalo to play here. He has an 18-10-4 record, 2.48 GAA, and .914 save percentage in 33 contests.
The Blue Jackets have played in one-goal contests (excluding empty-net goals) in 15 of the last 16 games and 41 one-goal games overall this season.
- Goals: 2.62
- Shots: 32.66
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.2
- Goals: 2.63
- Shots: 29.85
- PP/PK Percentage: 18.35
Wild vs Blue Jackets Game Trends
- Wild are 8-17 in the last 25 meetings in Columbus.
- Under is 12-4-2 in the last 18 meetings.
- Under is 6-1-1 in the last 8 meetings in Columbus.
Wild vs Blue Jackets Expert Prediction
Columbus 3, Minnesota 2