7* Saturday NHL COL/MIN
Colorado vs. Minnesota,
01/19/2013 21:00 EDT,
Score: 2 - 4
Money Line: -140 Minnesota
The Minnesota Wild host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. The teams split their season series a year ago.
For Minnesota, this game is all about unveiling their new toys. The team made a major splash in the offseason, adding Zach Parise from New Jersey, and Ryan Suter from Nashville. Those additions instantly transform the Wild into a Cup contender, and the crowd will be roaring at the Xcel Energy Center for this one, especially when the team’s top line of Parise, Dany Heatley, and captain Mikko Koivu is on the ice.
Parise and Suter accumulated 39 power play points last season, and the team certainly could have used that type of production last season. Niklas Backstrom’s surgically-repaired ankle is now fully healthy and the team will get a big boost with him playing at 100 percent.
The Colorado Avalanche are in full-on rebuilding mode this season. The team’s captaincy went from 14-year veteran Milan Hejduk to 20-year-old Gabriel Landeskog in the offseason.
Landeskog will be counted on as a key contributor for the team, as will fellow youngster Matt Duchene. Last season’s leading scorer is gone as Ryan O’Reilly signed on with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL in December.
The Wild have won 13 of the last 19 meetings between these teams. Take Minnesota.
7* Play on Minnesota Wild -140