Vancouver Canucks at Winnipeg Jets

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Winnipeg Jets have been one of the hottest teams in the North Division and the NHL, winning their last 4 games and 5 of the last 6. The Jets will hope to extend their winning streak as they host a struggling Vancouver Canucks team that might look to sell at the trade deadline. The Canucks will need to turn things around quickly as they are currently on a 4 game losing streak.

Canucks defense has been embarrassing

The Vancouver Canucks have disappointed in all facets of the game this season, entering this season as a potential dark horse to win the North Division but are currently holding the second-worst record in the division. The biggest failure this season has been the defense, which allows 3.5 goals per game and has been a disappointment across the board. Tyler Myers and Nate Schmidt have played well but young and promising defensemen like Quinn Hughes have become liabilities on that end. Likewise, the goaltending duo of Braden Holtby and Thatcher Demko has not lived up to expectations, with both goalies allowing 3.2 goals per game or more.

While the defense has struggled the offense has tried to keep the Canucks in games. Brock Boeser leads the offense with 12 goals on the season and while Quinn Hughes has played poorly on the defensive side, he leads the team in assists with 19. The Canucks also have 7 skaters that have scored 4 goals or more this season as part of an offense that is generally trying to make up for the defensive woes.

Jets offense has been thriving this season

The Winnipeg Jets have catapulted themselves into the top of the North Division with their winning streak and have looked like one of the best teams in the process. The offense has led the way as it has been great this entire season, scoring 3.4 goals per game. Mark Scheifele and Nickolaj Ehlers have both been excellent this season, scoring 11 goals each while Kyle Connor has added 10 to the Jets offense as well.

While the offense has carried the team all season, the defense is starting to improve and thus turn the Jets into serious Cup contenders. The pairing of Derek Forbort and Neal Pionk has been incredible for the Jets in all facets of the game combining 2.4 defensive point shares, 66 blocked shots, and 18 assists. In addition, Connor Hellebuyck has emerged as the workhorse in the goal as he has started 16 games and is only allowing 2.5 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:
 

The Canucks are poised to eventually break out of their slump and return to the playoff discussion. However, they have been a mess recently and it’s hard seeing them playing well against a much improved Winnipeg Jets team. The Jets should be able to pile on the goals in this game against a struggling Canucks defense whether it be Kyle Connor crashing towards the net or Neal Pionk firing a slapshot from the point. The Jets should also be able to limit the Canucks offense with Hellebuyck in goal and the defense continuing to play well. The Jets should extend their winning streak and win this game with ease.

Prediction:
Jets (-128)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:
 

The Jets defense has improved and this is a high total but it’s easy to forget that the North Division seems to have an offensive field day of goals every night. The Jets should be able to run up the score on the Vancouver Canucks, with their potent offense constantly finding scoring opportunities against a struggling Canucks defense. While the Canucks might be trailing for most of the game, the offense will be able to find the back of the net a few times whether it be Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser making plays near the crease or Quinn Hughes creating opportunities from the point. The Over should cover in another high-scoring game with both offenses hitting their stride.

Prediction:
Over 6.5