It appears that Minnesota may be in a rebuilding year as they head into the October 14th NHL Wild at Senators free pick. Bruce Boudreau’s team has dropped their first four games of the season including all three road contests. Nonetheless, the Wild are still -135 favorites on Monday afternoon against an Ottawa team that has stumbled out of the gates too at 1-3-0.
Wild Need a Win
Minnesota seems like an improbable favorite for the October 14th NHL Wild at Senators free pick. The Wild are not only 0-4, they’re getting sliced through on defense having allowed 21 goals total so far. Minnesota has given up at least 4 goals in each of their games and have also been held to 2 or fewer on offense in 3 of 4.
One of the reasons Minnesota is indeed a favorite on Monday afternoon is because the quality of competition they’ve played so far. The Wild have run a gauntlet at Nashville, at Colorado, and at Winnipeg and a home loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
The O/U for this contest is a bit higher at 6.5 but that’s because two struggling goaltenders are between the pipes. On the Minnesota end is Devan Dubnyk. The once reliable netminder has been in goal for all four of the Wild losses. He’s allowed 4 goals in 3 of 4 starts – while not facing more than 31 shots in any contest. The Ottawa offense has actually looked decent the last two games also.
Can Senators Actually Put Together a Win Streak?
Ottawa has great value in the October 14th Wild at Senators free pick. They are not only at home for the third straight game and against a winless Minnesota team, Ottawa is also coming off a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay as +226 underdogs.
The Senators have actually scored 4 goals in each of their last two games, one of which was a 4-6 loss to St. Louis as +165 underdogs. That being said, Vladislav Namestnikov and Brady Tkachuk are the only Senators players with multiple goals on the season. Ottawa has yet to score a PP goal this year as well and they rank 25th in shots on goal.
On paper the ‘over’ looks like the early play in this one. You’ve got a MInnesota defense that is dead last in the league in goals against (5.3) but Ottawa just behind them at 30th in the league (5.0). Dubnyk and Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson have the same save percentage at .862, both in the 10 worst of all netminders in the league. Anderson did shut down the explosive Tampa Bay offense in his last start though but allowed 9 in the two starts prior.
October 14th NHL Wild at Senators Free Pick
With both defenses being so horrible, this game is essentially a toss up. Minnesota is probably not as bad as they’ve looked so far this season due to the competition they’ve faced, but the Wild are still in a rut right now. The Senators are at home for the fourth straight game, and riding momentum of a win over Tampa Bay.
Pick: Senators +115