Minnesota Wild v Winnipeg Jets
Officially the hottest team in the NHL right now are the Minnesota Wild. Chuck Fletcher's side have taken 17 points from 20 and will likely prove a tough test tonight for the revived Winnipeg Jets, who are in a purple patch of their own.
It's a second meeting of the season for these two Central division rivals and the Wild have lost just once at Xcel Energy Center in the nine home games since an edgy 2-1 success over the Jets on October 10th.
Off the bottom of the division because of four consecutive wins, the Jets have still required goalkeeper Ondrej Pavelec to play out of his skin and make 30+ saves on each of those occasions, so they are far from fixed at the back.
Compare their chaotic play in their defensive zone to Minnesota's cool, calculated approach and you'll see what creates problems. Anchored by almost 30 minutes a night from the excellent Ryan Suter, Minnesota give up very few costly turnovers and another often overlooked aspect is how clutch they are in the faceoff circle. Winnipeg aren't slick enough on the powerplay to take apart the weakest aspect of the Wild's game either, so back Minnesota to get through at 1.90.
Vancouver Canucks v Dallas Stars
Dallas visit Vancouver aiming to extend an attention-grabbing five match winning run on the road. If the Stars now take maximum points from their games in hand, they can pass the Canucks in the standings.
A series of tough opponents has seen Vancouver stutter up front of late, managing no more than one goal in the last three contests. They are another club whose powerplay is not functioning efficiently enough to break them out of troublesome situations.
No such problems for the Stars. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin had an amazing night during Dallas' last outing in Calgary, putting up six and five points respectively. Those two have 22 points each this season and Alex Chiasson is the only other guy on the roster with more than 10 to their name.
Stopping the dynamic duo is key for Vancouver then but the creativity in their play and the speed at which they are pulling it off has been fun to watch. It may seem like a safe bet siding with the Canucks on home ice at 2.00, but I think Dallas' momentum makes them worth taking at good value odds of 3.25.
Best Bet: Minnesota Wild to win at 1.90.