The Minnesota Wild have gotten off to a slow start but their schedule has been very strange. They will have played just five games going into Saturday’s affair while some teams have already played eight games. The Wild will be in a back-to-back situation as they visit Calgary on Saturday night.
Minnesota Wild vs. Calgary Flames
Date: Saturday, October 21st – 10 PM ET
Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta
NHL Odds: Flames -170
NHL Odds and Betting Analysis
The Wild have won six of their last 10 meetings with the Flames, but Calgary has won the last four games; the Wild had won the six games prior to that. Four of the games have gone over the posted total, along with three pushes, and seven of those 10 games have had a posted total of five goals even.
The Wild are 1-2-2 in their first five games, Five of their first six games are on the road, which isn’t an optimal schedule but the Wild were 22-13-6 on the road last season. Also, they’ll play five games in the next eight days after playing four games in the first nine days. It has been tough for the Wild to get into a rhythm and that’s showed. They’re third in goals scored and on the power play, but they’re 25th in goals against and 20th on the penalty kill. Chris Stewart has four goals and two assists to start the season, while three players have four points. Ryan Suter will come around as he has three assists, including two on the power play, but he has a team-worst -4 so far. Devan Dubnyk has to improve as he is 1-1-1 with a 3.70 GAA and a save percentage of .894. After coming off a career season, Dubnyk has to prove that his play over the last two seasons wasn’t a fluke. But the Wild should get better once they get past this weird part of their schedule.
The Flames looked terrible in a season-opening shutout loss in Edmonton, but bounced back with three straight wins – including their first win in Anaheim in 30 games (that isn’t a typo: they had lost 29 straight in Anaheim). They’ve been up and down since then, looking terrible in a 6-0 loss at home to Ottawa but them bouncing back for a 5-2 win the next night in Vancouver. The Flames are 23rd in goals scored as Johnny Gaudreau leads the way with two goals and eight assists, and Sean Monahan’s four goals leads the team, and he has three assists as well. The onus is on players like Matthew Tkachuk (two goals three assists), Michael Frolik (one goal, three assists) and Kris Versteeg (one goal, two assists) to get going, because everyone knows that Gaudreau and Monahan are the main guys. They’re going to need some help, though.
Wild vs. Flames prediction: