The NHL regular season concludes on April 10th. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for teams who are jockeying to get into the playoffs. The Wings, who are behind the 8-ball in their race against the Flyers, are in desperate need of a win tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Needing to win doesn’t always translate to a win, though. It’s one of the bigger mistakes you can make in sports betting. Instead of getting involved in that one, we head to Winnipeg where the Blackhawks are playing out the rest of the season en route to the playoffs. The Jets just want to finish up and head to the offseason and regroup for next season.
Like all Canadian teams this year, the Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs. Their attempt to get back into the playoff hunt was pretty well done with after they traded away Andrew Ladd to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Jets knew it, we all knew it, and so they folded their hand and turned their attention to the future. Remember the Jets made the playoffs last season. This is a major step back for them, after such promise on display only a year ago. But like the Calgary Flames, things didn’t work out in quite the same way as it did then.
The Jets look like a team at the moment who are counting down the days until the end of the season. After Ladd was traded, the rest of the team saw the writing on the wall and pretty well did what management did, give up. The season isn’t over with yet, though. However, the way they’ve been playing, it appears as if they think it is. The Jets have gone 2-6 in their eight matchups, including three straight losses. The Blackhawks had a hiccup of their own, but the Hawks are 44-26-7 and heading to the playoffs.
I am keeping an eye on the progress of goaltender Corey Crawford. Scott Darling has been the man between the pipes for past few weeks, as Crawford is battling what appears to be concussion like symptoms. I give much more weight to the Blackhawks in the playoffs with a healthy Corey Crawford. Darling has been adequate, posting a 2.36 GAA and 3-3-1 record as a replacement. He will get his eighth start in a row tonight in Winnipeg. Let’s find a winner for Friday night in the NHL, with my pick posted below.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets NHL Pick
The most obvious subtraction in this game is Duncan Keith. Keith was immediately issued a game misconduct and is facing what could be at least a five-game suspension after a high stick to a Wild. Additionally, Marian Hossa, the lone goal scorer against the Wild is going to be sitting out tonight because of an illness. The Blackhawks will head home on Sunday to play the Boston Bruins. This stop in Winnipeg is the end of a four-game road trip for the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have looked out of sorts lately, with a 3-7 record in their last ten games. Statistically they haven’t looked like the Blackhawks either, posting 2.20 goals for and 3 goals against per game in their past ten games. The Blackhawks and Jets met on March 18th in Winnipeg, where Chicago easily defeated the Jets by a score of 4-0. I was on the Blackhawks in that game, but I’m not so sure about them tonight.
Their top defenseman is out, Duncan Keith, and Marian Hossa isn’t going to be out there tonight either. Joel Quenneville will be juggling lines. Also, there is a look-a-head spot to the Bruins on Sunday. I don’t think the Blackhawks are too interested in playing tonight, after over a week on the road. The Jets might be able to catch the Blackhawks napping tonight. This is good of a chance as Winnipeg will have to beating the Blackhawks. I expect the Jets to be the more aggressive, motivated team tonight. Spot bet for me on the Jets.
PICK: JETS TO WIN +133