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The Vancouver Canucks will look to continue moving up the standings when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in North Division action. Vancouver has been hot over its last 10 games to move to two points out of playoff position at 16-16-3, although it lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday as a +162 underdog on the road. The Jets took a 4-2 road loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday as a +108 underdog, but are still in third place in the North at 18-11-2.
This is the sixth meeting between these two teams so far this season, with Winnipeg winning three of the first five including a 5-2 home victory in the most recent matchup on March 2.
Winnipeg drops series in Edmonton
The Jets have enjoyed a terrific season, but lost a pair of games to second-place Edmonton and now open a crucial series against a Vancouver team just three points back in the standings. Winnipeg was in good shape early after Andrew Copp and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored in the first 15 minutes, but the Jets did not find the back of the net for the rest of the game as Edmonton raced back to take the lead in the final 10 minutes.
Copp tips it in!
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) March 21, 2021
Dubois added an assist on the first goal, while Nikolaj Ehlers provided a helper on both Winnipeg tallies. Connor Hellebuyck had a strong game stopping 33 of 36 shots, but the Jets could only get two of their 31 shot attempts past Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith.
“We don’t like it. The locker room is not thrilled right now, so that’s a good sign,” forward Blake Wheeler said to the Associated Press.
The Jets are one of the NHL’s best teams against the spread this season at 24-7 and recently won two games as a big underdog against the first place Toronto Maple Leafs. Overs are 17-12-1 for the Jets, as nine of their last 10 games have either gone over or pushed on the betting total.
Winnipeg is inside the top 10 of scoring in the NHL at 3.32 goals per game on 29.6 shots per game and a strong 25.84% on the power play. The Jets have also been a top half defense this year, allowing 2.9 goals and 31.6 shots per game while killing off 78.91% of penalties.
Mark Scheifele leads the Jets with 37 points, good for fifth in the entire NHL, while Kyle Connor leads the team with 16 goals. Hellebuyck isn’t quite at the same level as last season when he won the Vezina Trophy but is still having a good season at 2.83 goals per game allowed and a 0.911 save percentage.
Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was placed on injured reserve two weeks ago with an upper body problem and is out indefinitely. Winger Bryan Little will not play this season with a head injury.
Canucks four-game winning streak ends
After a horrible start to the season, Vancouver has rallied with eight wins in its last 10 games, but couldn’t quite hold on against Montreal over the weekend in a shootout. Vancouver led 4-3 as Bo Horvat and Tyler Motte scored early in the third, but the Canucks could not hang on in the final few minutes, and lost a shootout that went to 12 rounds as Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stopped five consecutive shots.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 21, 2021
Jake Virtanan opened to scoring for Vancouver in the first period while Brock Boeser added another goal shortly after. Braden Holtby stopped 36 of 40 shot attempts, but it wasn’t enough as Vancouver only mustered 18 shots on goal and couldn’t get going in the shootout despite Price having a rough game overall.
“It was a tough game. Give Montreal credit. They played well tonight. It was a hard-fought game. I liked that we battled back,” head coach Travis Green said to the Associated Press. “It was a hard game for our team and point well earned.”
It hasn’t been a great year for the Canucks against the spread at 17-18, but they are starting to pick it up lately with several wins against the likes of Montreal and Toronto as a big underdog. Overs are 15-18 for the Canucks after the last game against Montreal snapped a streak of four straight unders.
Vancouver is around mid-pack in the NHL with 2.74 goals and 30.1 shots per game on 19.61% on the power play. The Canucks’ problems have come on the defensive end, with opponents scoring 3.14 goals on 338 shots per game with Vancouver killing off 80.17% of penalties.
Boeser leads the Canucks with 15 goals and 31 points overall, while Quinn Hughes continues to impress at 21 years old with 24 assists. Thatcher Demko has played very well in net lately, bringing his season numbers to 2.66 goals allowed per game and a 0.921 save percentage in 21 starts.
The Canucks have one major injury concern, as center Elias Pettersson was just moved to long-term injured reserve with an upper body problem after racking up 21 points to rank fifth on the team. Winger Tanner Pearson is also out for about a month with a lower body injury. Michael Ferland and Justin Bailey are also on injured reserve, hurting Vancouver’s depth at forward.
Trends via Covers.com.
- 7-1 in its last eight games playing on one day’s rest
- 4-1 in its last five as a home underdog.
The Canucks looked like one of the worst teams in the NHL until three weeks ago, but are quickly surging up the standings and look like a strong bet as a home underdog here. This won’t be an easy test against a good Jets team, but it’s hard to pass up the value of the Canucks as they continue to play well in every facet.
Most of Vancouver’s poor defensive statistics for the season came very early on when they were dealing with major injuries, but the recent surge coincides with the Canucks’ goal prevention unit. Demko has been on fire in net lately, allowing two or fewer goals in each of his last four games despite facing a tough schedule plus a high volume of shot attempts.
Winnipeg is playing decently still but quickly slipping from an elite level, particularly in the series against Edmonton where its offense was overwhelmed. Look for the Canucks to keep rolling with an upset over the Jets at appealing odds.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
These two teams have done a lot of good work on the offensive end this season, but the goaltenders are just too good right now to take the over. While Vancouver is coming off a high-scoring game against Montreal, it managed just 18 shots and 0.78 expected goals for, and can’t count on scoring that much against a good Winnipeg team without more pressure.
Hellebuyck might not win the Vezina Trophy again, but is still having a good season with Winnipeg’s shaky defense ahead of him and has been over a 0.900 save percentage in six of his past seven games. The Jets were handled pretty comfortably against Edmonton with three goals across two games and poor backing metrics, and things won’t get better on Monday against a hot goalie in Demko.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
Under 6 (-120)