The Wild lost six games in a row and start 2014 under a lot of pressure but they might have finally caught a lucky break. Buffalo comes visiting and it brings the worst record in NHL, including the fewest wins on the road and the most defeats in regulation time.
Odds: William Hill 1.83
Minnesota’s inability to defend is every bit as surprising as it is frustrating, given the fact that they have one of the best backlines in the league. One explanation for the fruitless streak is that their first goalie is struggling with a serious medical condition and despite his best efforts, the disease takes its toll. Usually, the Wild compensate defensive slumps with fierce incursions into the opposing half, but recently they didn’t produce enough goals to stay afloat.
Tonight, the hosts have a good chance of limiting opponents to a handful of goals as the rock-bottom Sabres are coming to Minnesota without a couple of key players. Among those missing are Cody Hodgson who was recently placed on the disabled list and Ville Leito who joined him on the bench earlier this week. Henrik Tallinder is also unfit to play in defense, which means that the visitors will be vulnerable to counterattacks. Johan Larsson and Brayden McNabb have been summoned from AHL Rochester, but it is unlikely for them to rise to the occasion and stop the Wild in their tracks.
Minnesota seeks its first victory in 2014, after dropping 6 consecutive games and Buffalo is the perfect victim for the ailing Wild. Odds of 1.83 offered by William Hill for a regulation time victory are not spectacular, especially for a team riding a long losing streak, but they hold enough value to justify a bet.