Free NHL Picks: Take Sharks To Win When Meeting Slumping Wild

Bruce Webster

Saturday, January 23, 2016 1:44 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 1:44 PM GMT

The Minnesota Wild visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon at the SAP Center in San Jose, California  . Don't miss our preview and get the best NHL picks for this game.

Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
Lines: San Jose -126/ Minnesota +114
Total: 5
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Free NHL Pick: Sharks -145
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

The NHL odds are out for tonight's game as the Minnesota Wild (23-16-7-1 SU, 22-25 PL, 14-25-8 OU) come in off a solid 3-0 win over the Kings on the road, which broke their five game losing streak, while the San Jose Sharks (24-18-2-1 SU, 21-24 PL, 26-16-3 OU) come in off a 3-1 win over the Coyotes on the road and they have now won six of their last seven games. The home team is 20-7 the last 27 games in the series. 

 

Kuemper Stops 32 Shots in Blanking the Kings
Darcy Kuemper is the backup goalie for the Wild, so he doesn’t get that many chances to prove what he can do, but he has really md the most of his time on the ice this year. Kuemper is just 5-5, but with a solid 1.90 GAA and two of his five wins have been shutouts after pulling the feat in Los Angeles on Thursday night. His record hasn’t been as good, because he just hasn’t been given much support. One of his shutouts this year was vs the Sharks, but it should be Devan Dubnyk back in goal for this one. Dubnyk comes in at 18-19 on the year with a 2.27 GAA, including 7-11 with a 2.43 GAA on the road, while vs the Sharks he is 5-9 with a 3.07 GAA in his career.

The win for the Wild sapped a five game losing streak and it really was a huge win as they were pretty big dogs in the game. Scoring for the Wild was Zach Parise, which was his 17th of the year, Charlie Coyle, which was his 11th and Erik Haula, which was his 4th and that one came when the Wild were short-handed. Minnesota checks in at 19th in scoring, putting up just 2.5 gpg, while converting on just 17% of their power play chances, which is 24th. The Wild have been a solid defensive squad this year as they rank 5th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg, but they do struggle on the penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.2% of their power play chances, which is 21st in the league.

 

Martin Jones Strong in Win Over Coyotes
The San Jose Sharks have been rolling of late as they have now won six of their last 7 games, following a 3-1 win over Arizona on Thursday night. Martin Jones has had a big part of their resurgence and has now won five in a row after the win over Arizona. This is the 2nd time this year he has had a five game winning streak and he has a four game win streak as well. He should get the start in this game and is 21-15 with a 2.40 GAA on the year, but he is just 7-10 with a 2.57 GAA at home. Jones has faced the Wild twice in his career and he is 1-1 with an 0.76 GAA in those starts. 

The Sharks got scoring from Tommy Wingels, which was his 4th of the year, Chris Tierney, which was his 6th and Patrick Marleau, who notched his 15th of the year. The Sharks have been a very solid offensive team this year as they come in at 5th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while converting on 21.6% of their power play chances, which is also 5th in the league. On the defensive end of the ice they com in at 20th in goals allowed, giving up 2.7 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on 20.3% of their power play chances, which is 21st. This is a team that is really playing well right now could be very dangerous in the second half of the season.

 

Trends for Minnesota:
1-5 in their last six games following a win
3-14 in the last 17 meetings in San Jose

 

Trends for San Jose:
5-0 in their last five vs. the Western Conference
5-1 in their last six vs. a team with a losing record

 

Betting Analysis
For my NHL picks, I will go with the hot Sharks vs the slumping Wild in this one. San Jose is really starting to turn it on right now and while they have struggled some on the defensive end of the ice, their offense has more than made up for it. Minnesota’s big problem of late has been that they have scored just nine goals in their last seven games and now they have to take on a hot goalie in Martin Jones. Just too much stacked against Minnesota in this one.

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