Kirill Kaprizov shoots vs Blues; Minnesota Wild

Apr 16, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) shoots against St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (90) during the third period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues face off in Round 1 of the 2022 NHL Playoffs
  • Minnesota is -164 favorites in the Wild vs Blues series odds
  • Read below for Wild vs Blues series odds, preview & prediction

The Minnesota Wild (53-22-7) and St. Louis Blues (49-22-11) will clash in Round 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wild finished second in the Central Division with 113 points, while the Blues were right behind them with 109 points.

Minnesota is listed as -164 favorites in the Wild vs Blues series odds. St. Louis won all three regular-season meetings and are available as +134 underdogs to beat the Wild.

Let’s analyze the Wild vs Blues odds, preview the series and offer you our official prediction.

Wild vs Blues Series Odds

Team Moneyline
Minnesota Wild -164
St. Louis Blues +134

Odds as of April 30th at FanDuel

The Wild’s -164 moneyline price means they have 62% implied probability to beat the Blues in Round 1. St. Louis’ +134 underdog price gives them 43% implied probability to win the series. The Wild have a slight edge in the Western Conference odds.

While both teams have similar records, neither is considered a favorite to win it all. Minnesota is listed at +1600 in the 2022 Stanley Cup odds, while the Blues are priced at +2000.

Series Schedule and How to Watch 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs feature best-of-seven series for each round. The Wild vs Blues series begins Monday and will be broadcast on ESPN and TNT. Minnesota finished with a better regular-season record than St. Louis, so they hold home-ice advantage.

Wild vs Blues Series Schedule

Date Game Location Start Time (ET) Broadcast Networks
Monday, May 2 St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Center 9:30pm ESPN, SN360
Wednesday, May 4 St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Center 9:30pm ESPN, SN360
Friday, May 6 Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues Enterprise Center 9:30pm TNT, SN360
Sunday, May 8 Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues Enterprise Center 4:30pm TBS, SN360
*Tuesday, May 10 St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Center TBD TBD
*Thursday, May 12 Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues Enterprise Center TBD TBD
*Saturday, May 14 St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Center TBD TBD

*If necessary

If you want the full NHL Playoff schedule, you can get a printable NHL playoff bracket. 

Minnesota Favored in Wild vs Blues Series Odds

Minnesota is favored to defeat St. Louis in Round 1 in the Wild vs Blues series odds. Dean Evason’s team had a fantastic regular season, but they’ll need to change the narrative around their postseason performance.  The Wild haven’t won a playoff series since 2014-15.

Minnesota is led by Russian superstar Kirill Kaprizov, who surpassed the 100-point mark in his second season. He also finished the regular season inside the top 10 for the Hart Trophy odds. The big concern is the health of his linemate Mats Zuccarello, who is dealing with an upper-body injury. Zuccarello had 79 points and is questionable for Game 1.

The Wild will also likely be without Marcus Foligno for Game 1 after the forward was injured in his final regular-season versus Colorado. Luckily, the Wild are a top-five offensive team with plenty of depth. Kevin Fiala, in particular, is red-hot with 10 goals in his past 13 games.

Defensively, the Wild will be turning to either Cam Talbot or Marc-Andre Fleury in goal against the Blues. Talbot (.911 SV%) has posted slightly better stats than Fleury (.908 SV%), but the Flower is an experienced playoff veteran who has already won multiple Cups.

Do Blues Offer Underdog Value?

St. Louis is priced as moneyline underdogs in the Wild vs Blues series odds despite winning all three head-to-head-meeting this season. That stat can be a bit deceptive, however, as the last two meetings went to overtime and the other game was played outdoors at the Winter Classic.

Much like the Wild, the Blues are out to undo some recent playoff misfortunes. St. Louis has suffered two straight first-round exits after winning the Stanley Cup in 2018-19. Craig Berube’s team was dominated and swept by Colorado in Round 1 last season.

The Blues have an explosive offense with plenty of firepower on every line. St. Louis features nine different players who have scored 20-plus goals, including 30-goalscorers Vlad Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich. The Blues recently played a 12-game stretch where they scored at least four goals in each contest.

St. Louis is likely going to turn in net to 27-year-old Ville Husso, who is 38-25-7 with a .919 save percentage and 2.56 GAA. Jordan Binnington led the Blues’ on their miraculous Cup run in 2019, but he’s only seen his performance decline since winning it all.

Wild vs Blues Series Pick & Prediction

Wild vs Blues is possibly the most evenly matched first-round series of the 2022 NHL Playoffs. Minnesota has a nice edge with home-ice advantage, but keep in mind St. Louis has been one of the NHL’s best road teams (23-12-6) this season.

Wild vs Blues Head-to-Head Stats

0-1-2 Head-To-Head 3-0-0
52-25-7 NHL Regular Season Record 49-29-11
3.72 (5th) Goals For/GP 3.77 (3rd)
3.04 (16th) Goals Against/GP 2.91 (11th)
20.5% (18th) Power Play 27% (2nd)
76.1% (25th) Penalty Kill 84.1% (5th)

Considering how evenly matched these two teams are, Blues’ goalie Husso could be the x-factor. Fleury stumbled in the playoffs for Vegas last season, while Talbot hasn’t been able to lead his team on a run. Husso has the best high-danger save percentage of any NHL Playoff starter.

The NHL Playoffs is often about momentum. Since the start of April, both the Wild and Blues have won 12 of 16 games. In that span, St. Louis has an expected goals of 37, while Minnesota has an xGF of 33.

With both teams being so evenly matched, all the value is with the underdog. The Blue have a lethal power play facing a lackluster Minnesota penalty kill. Take St. Louis to win the series at -164 in the Wild vs Blues odds.

Pick: St. Louis Blues Moneyline (+134)

Author Image

NFL
NHL
NCAAF
NCAAB
Sports Writer

NFL
NHL
NCAAF
NCAAB





Source link