Wild Look to Complete Season Sweep Over Resurgent Canucks
As the Minnesota Wild go for their third victory against the Vancouver Canucks in 2021-22, both clubs enter Thursday’s game with a lot on the line. For the Wild, a win could propel them into sole possession of second place in the Central Division.
While the latest NHL odds favor Minnesota, the resurgent Canucks have overcome a dreadful start to vault into playoff contention with just under a week-and-a-half to play.
Canucks on the Verge of Going from Zero to Hero
The Vancouver Canucks have demonstrated an impressive amount of resilience throughout their latest campaign. Following an 8-15-2 start, the Canucks replaced head coach Travis Green with long-time bench boss Bruce Boudreau. Since Boudreau’s arrival, Vancouver has gone an impressive 30-13-9, elevating from a Western Conference bottom feeder to a team sitting just four points out of a Wild Card spot.
With a playoff spot still within reach, the Canucks arrive in Minnesota with six wins in their last seven contests and points in their previous eight. Three of those triumphs came against the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars, the two teams Vancouver needs to pass to punch its ticket to the postseason.
Vancouver’s offense is also firing on all cylinders, averaging 5.33 goals during its recent six-game winning streak.
Wild Playing With Home Ice on Their Mind
The Minnesota Wild have clinched their third playoff berth in a row and their ninth in 10 seasons. Thursday’s third and final matchup with the Vancouver Canucks has the chance to give the Wild a decisive edge over the St. Louis Blues as to who possesses home-ice advantage for their anticipated first-round playoff series. Both clubs have 103 points, though Minnesota has one fewer game played.
Unlike their red-hot opponents, the Wild have been a model of consistency. Minnesota has had two losing streaks last for more than two games, one of which came during its COVID-19 outbreak in December.
Yet, head coach Dean Evason has overseen seven winning streaks that lasted for more than two games, with a chance to up that total to eight with another victory.
Along with possessing a seven-game point streak of their own, the Wild have also secured at least one point in their last 11 home games.
Canucks vs Wild Head-to-Head
While the Minnesota Wild have been better than the Vancouver Canucks in each of their first two meetings, both matchups were closer than you might expect.
On October 26, Minnesota snuck a 3-2 road win thanks to a third-period goal from defenseman Matt Dumba, hen, on March 24, center Joel Eriksson Ek netted the overtime winner at home for another 3-2 victory.
Despite the Wild’s recent success, the Canucks possess the all-time advantage in the series. Vancouver is 53-49 with five ties against Minnesota, including a 3-1 series victory over its Western Conference foe in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Canucks vs Wild Game Information
- Game: Canucks (38-28-11) vs Wild (48-21-7)
- Location: Xcel Energy Center
- Day/Time: Thursday, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Canucks vs Wild Live Stream: NHL.TV
Canucks vs Wild Betting Lines
Canucks vs Wild Prediction
While both clubs have performed well over their last ten games, those betting online will see the Minnesota Wild as -175 favorites to grab the victory. That said, the Vancouver Canucks are +155, making them the fifth-largest underdog on Thursday’s 11-game NHL slate.
Considering both of their previous games were decided by a single goal, -175 seems like a high number to take the Wild straight up. Betting them at +155 to cover the -1 ½ puck line also appears to be a significant risk, although, to its credit, Minnesota is a dominant home team (27-7-2) with no regulation losses at Xcel since March 13.
The best sportsbook odds for this game might be the under 6.0 goals. Even though both clubs possess dynamic offenses at times, this matchup could easily have a lower-scoring, playoff-like atmosphere than the games we usually witness around this time.
It also helps that both goaltenders — Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko and Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury — are giving their respective clubs a boost in net.
With even-money odds, consider betting the under in what might be another low-scoring, highly-competitive matchup between two of the hottest teams in the NHL.