It’s a shame that the Arizona Coyotes couldn’t capitalize off last season’s momentum. This would be a fun matchup worth admiring.
To be fair, it’s not like we should be talking about the Coyotes as if it’s time to throw dirt on the grave. They’re still very much alive in the Stanley Cup Playoff race, trailing the fourth-place St. Louis Blues by five points in the West Division.
More importantly, though, it’s the team ahead of them that’s gaining traction. The Minnesota Wild enter the second game of this two-game series seven points clear of Arizona with two games in hand. If there was time for the Coyotes to make a move and gain some traction in the standings, it’d be now.
Unfortunately, that won’t be the case on Tuesday in the sports betting world.
|Arizona Coyotes||-145 (+1.5)||Over 5.5 (+110)||+165|
|Minnesota Wild||+120 (-1.5)||Under 5.5 (-130)||-200|
Dolla Bill Kirill Cashes In
I’m not one to toot my own horn when it comes to preseason predictions, because I’m mostly wrong. For example, I thought the Toronto Maple Leafs would be a lottery team and that the Dallas Stars would be Stanley Cup contenders.
But one I will gladly take credit for wasn’t even that bold of a prediction, but Kirill Kaprizov is well on his way to winning the Calder Trophy. I should’ve taken that to the NHL betting bank.
It’s been a long time since something good happened to the Wild. Even for the playoff teams in the prior decade, there was nothing to celebrate in the State of Hockey. Then comes this 23-year-old kid from Russia, and he’s the most exciting player in Minnesota since Mike Modano donned the green and yellow for the Minnesota North Stars.
Kaprizov leads all rookies with 24 points, six clear of Ottawa rookie Tim Stutzle. Those 24 points are tops on Minnesota, but more importantly, so are the 14 assists. Kaprizov came to Minnesota touted as an exciting goal scorer, and while he’s proven that, his playmaking ability has been the highlight of his rookie campaign.
Of course, it helps to have quality goaltending like the Wild have. Kaapo Kahkonen has not lost in what seems like 10 years and Cam Talbot has become a serviceable veteran to have if need be. Couple that with Dean Evason continuing that hot stretch his team was on last season before the pause, and the Wild are a gritty team that has now found a way to score.
If you haven’t watched Kaprizov yet, I highly suggest you take some time to make it happen.
|Arizona Coyotes||-161 (+1.5)||-143 (+1.5)||-145 (+1.5)|
|Minnesota Wild||+132 (-1.5)||+120 (-1.5)||+125 (-1.5)|
Sunset In The Desert
Man, what could’ve been had things gone to plan with Arizona.
Remember the trade for Taylor Hall? I know it was 15 months ago, but in COVID times, it was 15 years. That was the moment; it was supposed to be the one shining moment for the Coyotes. It was the moment that gave them a playoff series victory in the Stanley Cup Playoff bubble last fall. They were on their way.
Then, like most things in Arizona sports, the Coyotes fell apart. Their general manager abruptly left, they lost Hall to Buffalo, they drafted a racist prospect and then rescinded his draft rights, then were thrust into a wide-ranged controversy regarding the workplace.
Oh, and the on-ice product hasn’t been better, either. The Coyotes have lost four of their last six, with the under cashing in four straight. This team just does not score goals, and if they run into a hot goaltender (which is expected with Kahkonen), they’re in trouble. Conor Garland and Clayton Keller are having breakout seasons, but they can only do so much.
There’s just no hope for Arizona right now.
The Wild are laying -200 on the puckline. That’s not ideal. The +120 at -1.5? Yeah, that’ll do.
If Kahkonen does start, it’s hard to bet against him right now. It will have been six days in between starts for him if he does play on Tuesday. Kahkonen has won his last eight starts with a .940 save percentage and 1.62 goals-against average.
Antti Raanta has been great for Arizona in place of the injured Darcy Kuemper. But give me the team that has the great goaltending and an offense to boot. That would be Minnesota.
Pick: Minnesota at -1.5 (+120)