If you have been making NHL picks this season, you have probably noticed several teams have assembled long winning streaks. However, only one has continued to back it up after losing.
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Minnesota and now Washington has all put together winning streaks of at least seven games. The Capitals just lost on Monday, so we do not know how they will react, but the Flyers, Penguins and Blue Jackets have been up and down since compiling a series of victories, but not Minnesota.
The Wild has their 12-game winning streak snapped by Columbus, who was also in the midst of long winning stretch, but has not suffered a big letdown, having won five of seven (as of Jan. 17th) and are on imposing 17-2 run.
Why is Minnesota Playing So Well?
Like almost anything in life, when something good or bad happens, it is never one aspect that changes everything. Minnesota is defensive minded-team under coach Bruce Boudreau and goalie Devan Dubnyk leads the NHL in fewest goals allowed and save percentage.
Boudreau is no youngster as the Wild’s coach at 62, but he’s embraced hockey analytics and found ways to create better matchups against various teams and players in given games, which has lead to his team continually beating the NHL odds.
Boudreau is in his first year in the upper Midwest and looking over last year’s team, he had to be thrilled about the Eric Staal free agent signing. Staal is 32 and while he’s not going to be faster or quicker at this juncture, he brought a true No.1 center to this franchise and made the wingers around him better and allowed other players to be on lines more suited to their individual talents.
Can Minnesota continue to play at this pace, of course not, but cannot think of one reason not to use them for NHL picks for now until you see them slow down.
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com