NHL Picks: Trust Slumping Wild To Wake Up Against Stars

Dana Lane

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 2:23 PM GMT

The Dallas Stars (33-15-5 71 pts), ranked fourth in my power ratings travel to Minnesota to face the Wild (23-20-9 55 pts) who desperately need a win. Who will be our NHL pick?

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NHL Pick: Wild +100
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Stars vs. Wild
The Minnesota Wild have spent the last month losing road games and now they are in danger of setting a home losing streak record as they try to avoid a sixth straight loss at Xcel Energy Center. During the streak Minnesota has scored just seven goals. 

Since a January 9th, 2-1 victory over Dallas, the Wild have gone just 1-9-1 with only 17 goals scored during that stretch. 

There has been some positive signs. The Wild, in defeat, have scored a power play goal in three consecutive games and had 24 shots on goal in the second period against St. Louis, Saturday. They also have killed 13 straight penalty's on home ice. The main issues appears that the Wild are pressing to score in five on five situations and the power play. The misguided offensive focus is hurting their defense and Dubnyk. 

Even with the offensive disconnect, it appears that the players still stand behind Head Coach, Mike Yeo. There is a huge difference between teams who are not behind the coaching staff and one that is. Yeo, appears lost for answers. He reminds me of a surgeon who just preformed surgery and now has to tell the family to be patient so they can determine how successful the surgery was. There is nothing more Yeo can do other than to be patient. Remember, it was the aquisition of Devan Dubnyk last year that sparked the Wild. 

So with all the bad news why are the Minnesota Wild -115 favorites. It seems to me that the Stars would have been in that -130 range. Perhaps it's because Jason Spezza is out at least another week but even so the Stars are more talented than Minnesota.

Easy pick, right?

Dallas goaltender, Annti Niemi, was pulled against Chicago after allowing three goals on 11 shots. Niemi may be looking ahead to next Thursday's re-match creating a possible mental dead spot in today's game. Niemi is 2-1 this month but his goals against is an unacceptable 3.84 over that stretch. 

With this being a divisional game we have to recognize the Stars 18-19-8 record vs the Central the last two seasons. This record has to be better to be taken seriously in the West. It does make it a bit more difficult considering that the Stars play in best division in hockey. 

From a trend standpoint let's not forget that the Stars are 2-8 in their last ten road games while Minnesota is 7-2 when playing on two days rest in their last nine games. The home team in this series is 37-15 in their last 52 games. 

I've been doing this a long time and I know a couple things. One, you never back a healthy team against a team that just lost a star player. Two, if it looks too good it usually is. This line is begging me to take the Stars but we're not biting. According to our NHL Odds, we will be backing Minnesota as our NHL pick tonight.