Vancouver is in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 but hasn’t won a post-season series since reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011.
The Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks both got a second life in the post-season with the NHL’s decision to expand the field to 24 teams. The No. 7 Canucks will face the No. 10 Wild in a best-of-5 series likely at some point in late July. Vancouver is -155 on the NHL odds with Minnesota at +111. The Wild won two of three regular-season meetings.
Minnesota Wild Odds
Under the usual format, the Wild (35-27-7, 77 points) would have finished one spot out of the second Wild-Card spot in the Western Conference. Coach Bruce Boudreau was fired in mid-February and replaced by Dean Evason. It was moderately surprising that Boudreau was dumped when he was considering the team had been 7-3-1 in the previous 11 games. The club went 8-4 under Evason, who was recently named permanent Head Coach.
The Wild historically have been a very good defensive team but a bit lacking on offence, yet that has been a bit flipped this season. Minnesota ranks 12th in scoring (3.16 gpg) and 23rd in allowing 3.14 goals per game. Kevin Fiala leads the team with 54 points, while Zach Parise is first with 25 goals. Devan Dubnyk is not having a very good season in net and essentially had lost his grip on the solo starting role to Alex Stalock, who has a 2.67 GAA compared to Dubnyk’s 3.35. On the NHL odds board, the Wild are +2500 to win the West and +5000 for the Cup.
Vancouver Canucks Odds
Vancouver is in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 but hasn’t won a post-season series since reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. The Canucks were tied for the final Western Conference Wild-Card spot with Nashville but would have lost a tiebreaker with the Predators. The favoured series result here is Canucks in five at +276.
They ranked eighth in the NHL in scoring at 3.25 goals per game and 11th defensively in allowing 3.10 gpg. Top netminder Jacob Markstrom is set for free agency after the season but hopes to re-sign with the club. He has a 2.75 GAA and .918 save per centage. Markstrom was dealing with a knee injury when the league shut down but is fine now. JT Miller leads Vancouver with 27 goals and 72 points. Tyler Toffoli had six goals and 10 points in 10 games with the Canucks after he was acquired in trade from Los Angeles. NHL odds have Vancouver +950 to win the West and +2000 to for the Cup.