Wild's top threat tries to snap out of funk
Minnesota’s off to a 3-1-1 start despite getting no production from its best offensive player. But will Zach Parise finally light the lamp today?
Stuck on 299 career goals, the left winger hopes his breakthrough comes at Barclay Center. The Islanders and Wild face off at 6 p.m. ET, with online sports book Bovada.lv leaning toward the hosts. Bruce Boudreau’s club, on the other hand, represents a +125 underdog.
While Parise hasn’t potted a regular-season tally since last March 31, Minnesota boasts quality victories over Winnipeg, Los Angeles and Toronto so far. The club absorbed an overtime defeat to New Jersey roughly 16 hours ago, but defenseman Ryan Suter and others bombarded Devils netminder Cory Schneider with picks in the final two periods. Certain areas still need to be cleaned up, though, particularly the power play. The Wild are just 2-for-22 with the man advantage.
Jack Capuano feels just fine about his special teams. Yet New York’s coach desperately needs to see superior work between the pipes. Starter Jaroslav Halak will probably yield to Thomas Greiss in this instance. The West Germany native owns a 2-2 record in four career outings against Minnesota.
Boudreau’s likely to counter with his own backup. Darcy Kuemper faced the Isles on Feb. 2, stopping all eight shots he faced in relief of Devan Dubnyk. Still, we’re inclined to side with the well-rested host group here.
SUNDAY NHL FREE PICK: WILD/ISLANDERS OVER 5 GOALS