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Wild vs. Golden Knights, 10:00 ET
We were able to grab a victory last night on the ice and took down what I thought was one of the better games of the day. It wasn’t an easy one as we needed a comeback and overtime win, but hell, a win is a win, right? Now we turn our attention to Saturday’s slate and while I like a few looks on the card, I’m resisting the urge to go and drop something on every game because I’ve found success with just focusing in on one game.
The Wild are sitting comfortably in first within the Central Division this season. They are 44-22-9 overall and even sporting a strong 20-11-6 record on the road this year. They also have been playing very solid hockey of late, winning four of their past five games and making it look relatively easy. In the four wins, they’ve allowed two goals just once. Every other game they only allowed their opponents to score once. They’ve had some great goalie performances and great work from their defense overall. They have faced the Golden Knights once this season and it wasn’t pretty for them. They dropped that contest with a 5-1 loss at home. Now they can get some revenge in the first game of a home-home back-to-back matchup. They will once again have Marc-Andre Fleury in the net today. He did allow all five goals to Vegas in the first matchup. But, this March he has been better, allowing just 2.56 goals per game on average and the Wild have won six of his seven starts.
Vegas is also comfortable in their first-place spot within the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights are 3-2 over the past five games but have lost the last two matches that they’ve played. The most recent match, a game against San Jose was a 4-3 loss. I mentioned they are playing the Wild two games in a row, and they just got done doing the same thing with Edmonton. They split those and I do expect them to split these games as well. Their defense hasn’t been great over the past few games as they’ve allowed 11 goals in those two games, and they’ve allowed three goals in four of their past five contests. I’m expecting they will put Jonathan Quick in the crease tonight. He’s been very hit or miss. In his seven games with the Golden Knights, he has allowed either three, six, or zero goals. If we put it down to just his starts – seven of his eight appearances for Vegas – he has allowed six goals twice, three goals four times, and had one shutout. The Knights are 6-2 in games Quick has played though.
I might be a bit crazy as the line is headed towards Las Vegas in this one, but the Wild are playing better hockey, have more rest, and have the more consistent goalie right now. While the travel schedule seems to favor neither team, I do think it is fairly equal as both have been on the west coast before this.
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