The Kings have just three wins in their last 12 contests
and any momentum that was garnered from the Jeff Carter trade and a 4-0 win on
Saturday night over the Chicago Blackhawks was quickly diffused with a 2-1 loss
in Nashville on Monday.
Bettors and touts
should have a tough time laying any juice with the Los Angeles Kings on the road right now
– especially against a Wild team that’s won three of four and is playing fairly
well right now. We’ll have to see more from Los Angeles before we hop on the
NHL Odds: Kings -115
The Los Angeles Kings can win because…
The Wild downsized at the trade deadline. The Wild have
been fading since the middle of December and what they needed was some kind of
a boost at the trade deadline to change that momentum. Instead, they traded
away key veterans in a clear sign to the locker room that they have no faith in
the current roster.
On Monday, the Wild dealt two key defensemen in Greg
Zanon and Nick Schultz. And that’s after the Wild previously dished Marek
Zidlicky. When you quickly do the math, that’s three of the six Wild defensive
The Kings were stymied on Monday night in Nashville but
they should have an easier time against the Wild. Even though Minnesota has won
three of four; that was just their eighth win in their last 32 games.
The Minnesota Wild can win because…
They’ve got some momentum going. For whatever reason, the
Wild seem to have snapped out of their funk and have now won three of four.
Yes, they’ve traded away defensemen but really, that’s an area of strength and
depth. The Wild seem to find ways to play solid blue-collar defense and while
Zanon, Zidlicky and Schultz will be missed, the Wild didn’t exactly sell the
The Kings are the perfect team for Minnesota to abuse and
keep their momentum going. Los Angeles can’t score worth a lick and has lost
nine of their last 12 games. Dustin Brown has scored all but one of their goals
in the last two games, so it’s pretty clear that the acquisition of Jeff Carter
hasn’t provided the team-wide balance the Kings are looking for yet.
Throw in the fact that the Kings are in a back-to-back
situation along with their third game in four nights and it seems to make sense
to stick with the Wild.
Outlook & NHL betting prediction:
This is pretty much a coin flip game. Do you trust the
Wild, who have won three of four but should really be trending downwards
because they’re not very good and they traded away veterans at the deadline? Or
do you trust the Kings to get it together as they made a positive move at the
deadline to acquire Jeff Carter, but have lost nine of 12? They’re also in a
back-to-back situation and are playing their third game in four nights.
We’re pretty much drawing straws here but given the situation,
let’s stick with momentum over logic and take the Wild – mostly because they’re
an underdog. This is a small play, though.
NHL Picks: Wild