Minnesota Wild vs. Nashville Predators - 12/20/14 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Nashville Predators (20-8-2) at Minnesota Wild (16-12-2)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild -125 / Nashville Predators +113 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Predators look to keep pace in the log jammed Central division as they head into Minnesota on Saturday to take on the Wild.
USA TODAY Sports
The Nashville Predators were one of the surprise teams in the Western Conference to start the season but when you actually look at their roster especially who they have between the pipes it should come as a surprise to very few. Pekka Rinne continues to assert himself as one of the best goaltenders in the world and his miniscule GAA and ridicuous save percentage are evidence to that claim and he is bar none a candidate for the Vezina through the first stretch of the season. The Preds were dealt a tough blow over the last few years as they had players fleeing the continent, others leaving for free agency, and had a number of injuries but they are back to playing some tough hockey and now have some offensive fire power – something they haven't really had as a part of their identity in team history. Nashville will look to reclaim second place in the division with a win and a St. Louis loss but they can help their own cause with a strong performance on the road against another solid team in Minnesota.
The Wild were projected to do some damage in the West this season after advancing to the second round of last year's postseason and while they are right in the mix with 34 points I think they expected to be doing a little better at this juncture than they are. Minny is four games above .500 but are 11 points behind the Blackhawks for the division lead and are two games under the number on the road this season which is something you need to rectify to be a Cup contender which is what the Wild think they are. Minnesota is certainly a very good team and always seem to play well at home and while it is a couple years past you can bet that Ryan Suter would like to play well against his former just as guys on the other side would love to deal him and his new side a loss in their own barn. This shapes up to be a great game but any time I am getting the Preds as a dog right now I am all over it as they can match up against anyone in the league and I think they get the win here in a tough battle with Minnesota.