Bet Rangers -115 Our Sharp NHL Pick Against Struggling Wild

Dana Lane

Thursday, February 4, 2016 3:50 PM GMT

The Wild have been horrible on the road and are facing a Rangers team that has been a solid play against teams with bad road records. Who will be our free NHL pick tonight?

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2862058, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NHL Pick: Rangers -115
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Minnesota Wild vs. New York Rangers
If this was a road match-up against a better team I'd probably stay off the game. Klien is arguably the best two way player on the Rangers while being moved around on different lines. Moving forward we will monitor how his abscense alters the Rangers play but I feel the New York have enough to overcome the loss against Minnesota. 

Dylan McIIrath will replace Klien again as he did earlier in the season. McIIrath has been an impressive young player who also shows the same two way ability Klien does in addition to a bit more toughness.

The offensive issues for the Wild are well documented but the defensive sloppiness was most evident in a 5-3 loss to the Islanders Tuesday. The problem with the Wild is they are finding different ways to lose. It's much easier for Head coach, Mike Yeo, to fix a big problem but extremely hard to put out a bunch of little fires. I've been around long enough to know that when you have different weaknesses its more of a mental issue which are harder to overcome. Mostly its a case of a coach staying consitent and allowing his players to play though it. Some of the quotes coming from the Wild lockeroom indicates that they are not in a place of confidence. 

During morning skate Tuesday the Wild were focused on continuing to shoot the puck. There hasn't been a drop off in attempts but it's the quality of the attempts that have me backing the Rangers. There is a difference between working hard to find screened, close range, shots than shooting from the blue-line hoping for a rebound or redirection.

In the first period against the Islanders the Wild had 20 shots on goal on 22 attempts but it was a soft 20. Then they changed their gameplan between periods trying to get better quality shots, but in doing so they seemed timid ending up with only eight total shots in the second period and 15 in the third which would be impressive had it not been for a seven minute stretch without an attempt. The Islanders scored twice in that time. We all know that anything can happen on any given night but the concerning part is that it seemed to a carbon copy of a 4-3 loss to San Jose, January 23rd. The Wild have given up goals in the last two minutes in their last three games that were lead changing.

The Rangers are a different team at home evident with a 18-5-2 home record vs. 9-13-3 on the road. Their offensive output jumps up almost half a goal at home (3.32 to 2.84 overall) while their goals allowed dips almost as much (2.24 from 2.60 overall). 

This is also a revenge spot at home after they dropped a 5-2 decision to Minnesota in December. The Rangers special teams were sloppy allowing two power play goals in the loss. I don't expect the same result in the Garden. The NHL Odds board show the Rangers as the favorite at -115. Take New York for your NHL picks.