Game 1 Wild vs. Canucks Prediction: Stanley Cup Qualifier Odds

Sports Interaction Staff | Updated Aug 02, 2020

Canucks vs Wild 2020

This Sunday brings us a late night Game 1 qualifying round matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and the Minnesota Wild.

Minnesota
35-27-4-3
AT
August 02, 2020, 10:30 PM ET
Rogers Place
Vancouver
36-27-3-3
Puckline +1.5 -260
Moneyline +100
Over / Under o +5.5

25%

Betting Action

75%

Puckline -1.5 +220
Moneyline -120
Over / Under u +5.5

25%

Betting Action

75%

It’s been a minute since these teams met in the postseason – the year was 2003 and the Canucks came into the matchup as the highest-scoring team in that regular season. They were expected to make quick work of the Wild, but Minnesota came roaring back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the series and eliminate the ‘Nucks.

The clubs will play a best-of-five series in Edmonton, Alberta, with the winner advancing to the round of 16. Potential opponents for the winner of this matchup are the top four seeds in the West – the Avalanche, Stars, Blues or the Golden Knights.

Wild vs. Canucks Betting Analysis

Sports Interaction (and many experts) think the deep and balanced Canucks are the most well-equipped to win this series, and as such, they are the odds favorite to do just that. That might come as a surprise to anyone who watched the last month of regular play before the shutdown, as the Canucks started to flail after a strong start, just as the Wild were picking up steam. Minnesota managed to finish a point ahead of Vancouver in the standings, and the Wild won two out of three regular season games against the Canucks.

What makes this matchup so exciting and so hard to predict is that its a clash between a young and thrilling group of forwards and a tough defensive line. On the Vancouver side you have captain Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, Brock BoeserTyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. The Wild defensive core that will try and shut down those upstart forwards are Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon.

Minnesota Wild

A week before this year’s trade deadline, the Wild fired head coach Bruce Boudreau and replaced him with Dean Evason. The drastic move worked, and the previously slumping Minnesota club went on a tear, going 8-3-0 in their last eleven games.

It’s hard to imagine the Wild accomplishing that streak without the incredible performance of Kevin Fiala. Fiala earned 26 points in 18 games, giving him the third best record in the league during that time period. Fiala was traded to Minnesota last season in exchange for Mikael Granlund but scored more in those explosive five weeks before the shutdown than he did all last season. If Fiala can get back to that level of play after the break, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. He’ll have some handy veterans at his side, with Zach Parise, Eric Staal and Mats Zuccarello rounding out the offense.

In net for the Wild will presumably be career backup Alex Stalock. Stalock is 32-years-old and been in the league for nine years. Out of 151 games played in the NHL, only four of them have been playoff games. He’ll be across the ice from Jacob Markstrom, who has often carried the Canucks to victories with his stellar goaltending.

Vancouver Canucks

It’s not just Jacob Markstrom being in net that will give the Canucks confidence when they take on the Wild. They also boast the league’s fourth best power play. That might be too much to handle for the Wild’s penalty kill, which is dismally ranked at 25th in the NHL.

They may lack playoff experience, but the eyes of the league will be on the stellar lineup of rising stars that the Canucks have compiled during their lengthy rebuild. Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes are all under 23-years-old, but they’ve each shown signs of greatness, and this strange playoff year will be invaluable experience for the youngsters as they grow into the future of the organization. The Canucks haven’t played a playoff game since 2015. Is this the year that they turn things around?

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Wild vs. Canucks?

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