Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers - 1/16/14
Edmonton Oilers (15-29-5) at Minnesota Wild (25-19-5)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild -200 / Edmonton Oilers +181 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The new look Edmonton Oilers take to the road on Thursday night looking for a rare victory in Minnesota against the Wild.
The Oilers have been a “team on the rise” for the last three seasons as they have accumulated a handful of top draft picks but somehow they can’t seem to put things together and turn around the losing culture that has developed in Edmonton. The Oil brought in former Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins and former head coach Craig MacTavish to run the ship but even they can’t seem to light a fire under the Oilers players who despite having a boat load of talent have failed to make the playoffs in every season since their Cup loss to the Hurricanes in 2006. Edmonton started the unloading process yesterday as they dealt long time goaltender Devan Dubnyk to the Nashville Predators in exchange for gritty forward Matt Hendricks and also sent a third round pick to Los Angeles for goaltender Ben Scrivens. Edmonton gets its first shot at the win column with their new additions on Thursday night in Minnesota – a place where they haven’t enjoyed much success in recent memory.
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The Wild head into tonight’s game playing mediocre at best and are in the midst of their worst sretch of the season that has pushed them down into fourth in the Central division standings. Minnesota is still without Zach Parise who is out battling injury but they received good news yesterday as he is back skating and will likely return to action sometime this weekend. The absence of Josh Harding still stings the team in goal as Nik Backstrom hasn’t been able to find his old self but youngster Darcy Kuemper has played well in his few opportunities and he will look to move above .500 with a victory over Edmonton tonight. The Wild absolutely dominate the Oilers in Minnesota and while I am tempted to lean the other way here because of the voids the Wild have I don’t think Edmonton Is a strong play and I see the home side getting back in the win column with ease.