The Minnesota Wild will try and do something on Monday that very few teams have done this season, and that is win coming off their bye. Teams coming out of their bye are a pathetic 4-16 in the first game back. You might think that playing at home would help but that is not the case, as teams are 2-12 at home in their first game after the bye. Minnesota has been very good at home this season with a record of 21-9 and they will be favored in this game on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
At 8 p.m. ET, tune into NBCSN for live television coverage of this NHL game on Monday, February 27, 2017, at the Xcel Energy Center.
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This is the first of a two-game road trip for Los Angeles and they have had one day off to get ready as they were home against Anaheim on Saturday. The Kings are 14-19 on the road this season with 7 games going over, 19 going under with 7 pushes.
The Wild have not played since losing 5-3 at home to Chicago last Tuesday. The Wild are 21-9 at home with 16 games going over, 11 going under with 3 pushes.
The Kings struggle to score goals and their power play isn’t very good, as the Kings are 24th in the league on the power play at 16.8%. They are just 24th in the league in goal scoring at 2.4 per contest. The Kings are 6th in the NHL in penalty killing at 84.6%. The Kings are 4th in the league in goals against at 2.4 per contest.
The Wild have an excellent power play, as they are 2nd in the league at 22.8%. The Wild are 4th in the league in goals per game at 3.3 per contest. Minnesota is 10th in penalty killing at 83.1%. They are 2nd in the league in goals per game at 2.3 per contest.
The scheduling situation in this game is something that has to be considered simply because teams have struggled so much coming off their bye. Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau is well aware of the situation.
“Maybe five days might be too much rest,” Boudreau said. “You know, according to the rest of the league it probably is. We will deal with it just like every other team is dealing with it.”
The Bruins pulled out a 2-1 win in overtime against San Jose on Sunday night to finally give a team a win coming off a bye this month as teams were 0-11 in February before the Boston win.
This will be the last season where the bye situation is a cash cow, as the NHL is going to change things next season to make it more competitive. It will probably be that teams coming off a bye will play another team coming off a bye so the competitive advantage is gone.
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The Kings broke a three-game losing streak in this series by winning 4-3 at home against the Wild last month. The Wild have won six of the last ten in this series with the last two going over the total. The Wild have won the last three games at home against the Kings with just one of the last six going over.
If you look simply at the situation, then the Kings are the play in this one, as teams coming off the bye have been awful. I don’t know that I trust the Kings enough to take them in this game, so I will avoid a side. One of the less publicized aspects of games involving teams coming out of the bye is the total, as 10 of the first 20 games went under, 7 went over, with 3 pushes. I will take this game on Monday night under the total.
NHL Odds: Wild 2, Kings 1
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