Expect A Wild Affair In Anaheim

Dana Lane

Sunday, January 8, 2017 8:03 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 8:03 PM UTC

Bruce Boudreau returns to Anaheim where the Ducks became one of the best defensive teams in the league. Championship handicapper Dana Lane explains why tonight will not be a defensive struggle.

2016-2017 NHL Selection Record:   42-35   .546   +14.72 units

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Our faithful NHL followers are really starting to roll as we were all over the New York Rangers at +120 to extend the Columbus Blue Jackets losing streak. They had to come from behind but ultimately we cashed our third play in the last four days. That in conjunction with three of four winners on the 'PucksHeads' last week, airing every Tuesday and Thursday on the SBR. 


Minnesota Wild vs Anaheim Ducks

Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau returns to Anaheim where he was surprisingly let go after last season, replaced by Randy Carlyle. Ironically, Boudreau got the Ducks job after Carlyle was fired.  You can't tell me that doesn't create some extra motivation in Boudreau.  His comments indicate that he's been focused on this one for awhile. Boudreau's teams are known for their defense but tonight the focus may be on sending a message which means more offense. 

The Minnesota Wild wasted little time hiring Boudreau and all he's done with the Wild is take a team that has won just one playoff series in the last four years, making them into one of the best teams in the league. I have them ranked seventh in my power rankings. 

If you don't think that Boudreau is putting any emphasis on this one let's not forget the comments he made after getting the job when he wasn't shy in saying that the first game he looked at when he got to Minnesota was looking for the Ducks game.  Does that sound like a guy that's hoping to win a 1-0 defensive battle?

The Wild come feeling good about themselves after winning 13 of their last 14 games before dropping a 4-3 overtime loss to the Kings last night. They bring the Western Conference's best offense into the contest (3.16/gm).

Minnesota has five players ranked in the top in +/-. Ryan Suter (+25), Jason Zucker (+23), Jared Spurgeon (+23), Mikko Koivu (+20), and Mikael Granlund (+19). 

For the Ducks, they are starting to get some offensive contributions from unlikely sources giving the Ducks some much-needed depth on a below average offensive team.  Anaheim averages just 29.2 shots per game (18th) and 2.68 goals per game (16th).

There will be enough offense in this one to push us over the five. 

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Free NHL Pick: Over 5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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