The Anaheim Ducks (6-9-3) are set to face off in the desert against the Arizona Coyotes (7-7-3) on Monday night. These teams have played each other twice back in January, with each earning one win apiece.
The Coyotes are currently fifth in the West Division, while the scuffling Ducks are two points out of the postseason picture.
If you’re doing some online betting for this game, the Coyotes have a -160 moneyline, while the Ducks are at +140. The over/under for the game has been set at 5.
West Division Battle
In a condensed season, every game matters even more, and this is a huge road trip for the Ducks if they want to stay in the playoff race. Max Comtois has been the lone standout for Anaheim, while veterans like Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg are well on the decline and showing it.
Adam Henrique also cleared waivers on Sunday; the 31-year-old has only mustered up one goal in 2021 following a 26-goal campaign in 2019-20.
Anaheim is in a clear rebuilding phase, with prospects such as Trevor Zegras, Brendan Guhle, and Jamie Drysdale waiting in the wings. This is no longer the team that dominated for many years with a nucleus built of Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler.
The Coyotes have gotten a nice boost from former 2015 fifth-round pick Conor Garland, as he leads the team in points with 15. The problem is, the team’s two best forwards, Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel, haven’t been as effective as Arizona had hoped, ultimately ending in the team having such an underwhelming record.
Off the ice, the Coyotes have made NHL news as they have been the subject of massive controversy. Last week, The Athletic’s Katie Strang wrote a piece about the alleged toxic work environment.
This is the last thing Coyotes players need, as it seems every year there is already uncertainty about how much longer they will play in Glendale (a Phoenix suburb). It will be interesting to see if this drama affects the team’s play going forward.
The theme when looking at the NHL odds for this one is that goals have been hard to come by for both of these teams. The Ducks are second to last in total goals this year, while the Coyotes aren’t much better, ranking 24th in pucks getting to the back of the net.
Anaheim’s John Gibson and Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper have been among the best starting goalies in the NHL the last couple of years, and recently has been no different. Gibson leads the league in shutouts with Semyon Varlamov at three, while Kuemper sports an admirable save percentage (.917).
Last Five Games
Anaheim is currently on a three-game losing streak, dropping two games to Minnesota and one to San Jose. The Ducks have been outshot in four of their last five games and have only scored more than once in two of the five contests.
Arizona is on a little losing streak itself, but three of its last five games have been one-score affairs, with the Coyotes falling short in every one. They continue their big homestand Monday night at Gila River Arena in hopes of getting above the .500 mark.
Ducks at Coyotes Prediction
In a game with two of the best goalies in the league and two struggling offenses, expect a low-scoring affair. I think this will be a close one-score game that might even end in extra time, so there’s no real value in playing the moneyline.
When making your NHL picks, go with the under.