New York Islanders (14-14-6) at Minnesota Wild (22-8-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 29, 2016, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -207 / New York Islanders +186 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Minnesota Wild look to stay red hot as they host the New York Islanders at home on Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Islanders head into the Twin Cities looking to make a statement on the road against one of the league’s best teams as the Wild have won 11 games in a row and are looking like Cup contenders with each passing game. The Isles got off to a slow start but rebounded nicely with a stretch of solid hockey, but now they are back on the decline as they are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and are 14-14-4 on the season while their opponents tonight are 22-8-2 on the season and 12-2 on home ice. The Isles will need up a big effort from John Tavares and company in the offensive zone as the Wild are a very stingy defensive group and have a handful of scorers who can put the puck in the net with ease which makes them a very tough team to beat.
The Wild are coming off a big road win against the Nashville Predators and are looking like the team to beat in the Western Conference as we approach the turn of the calendar into 2017. Minnesota has been knocking on the door for the better part of a decade but this is as good as they have looked in that span but they will only consider the season a success if they can end their sluggish playoff resume and finally qualify for a Cup final. If the Wild can stay the course for the next little while and they add a piece or two at the deadline they are going to be a very tough out, even in the very good Central division where it seems like any one of them can make the playoffs.
The Isles are 11-4 in their last 15 against the Central division and 3-11 in their last 14 road games while the Wild are 7-0 in their last seven home games and 11-1 in their last 12 games following a win. Minnesota is playing too well right now and while their winning streak will come to an end soon I don’t see if coming against a team of the Islanders’ calibre.