The NHL is packed with action on Thursday night. Ten games are up on the board in total for March 14. One of the top games on the board will be between the Boston Bruins and the Winnipeg Jets. These two teams are both competing near the top of their division, which should lead to a tightly contested matchup on Thursday night. This game is set to start at 8:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
Boston has earned a record of 42-19-9, which has them sitting in second place of the Atlantic Division this season. The Bruins have lost back to back games after winning fifteen of their last seventeen games. Boston will look to try and pull off a victory to get back on track on Thursday night against Winnipeg.
The Jets have jumped out to the top spot in the Central Division with a record of 40-25-4 this season. Winnipeg has struggled in their recent stretch of games though. The Jets have lost back to back games and eight of their last twelve games. Winnipeg will need to turn around these recent struggles if they want to keep that top spot in the Central. The Jets will look to take a big win at home against the Bruins.
Thursday night’s matchup between the Bruins and the Jets will be the second and final game of the season series. These two teams have struggled a bit in their last couple games, but both teams are legitimate Stanley Cup Contenders. I believe that both teams will step up their play looking to prove their dominance over their tough opponent.
The first game of last season’s series was hosted by the Bruins, where Boston was able to win 2-1 in the shootout. The second game of the season series shifted to Winnipeg. The Jets were able to win the 5-4 in another shootout. Winnipeg lost in the Conference Finals, while the Bruins went lost in the second round of the playoffs. Both teams are on track for a solid playoff run again this season.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by Boston on January 29. Patrice Bergeron scored two goals for the Bruins. David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists, while Brad Marchand put up three assists. Mark Scheifele had two assists for the Jets. Kyle Connor scored two goals to help force the game into a shootout. Kyle Connor then scored the lone goal in the shootout to give Winnipeg a 4-3 win.
The last three games between these two teams have gone into a shootout, which shows you how well they match up with each other. These two teams are strong competitors in their respective conferences, which helps them step up their game to go up with each other. I believe it will be no different for Thursday night’s matchup.
The Bruins have been doing really well to this point in the season on special teams. Boston has dominated on the power play, scoring on 26.2 percent of their chances. The Bruins penalty kill has been doing slightly above average, stopping their opponent’s 81.3 percent of their opportunities. Boston will look for their special teams to lead them.
Winnipeg’s special teams has also been doing well this season. The Jets power play has not been doing as great as of late, but they have still scored on 25.4 percent of their chances this season. Winnipeg’s penalty kill has stopped opposing teams on 79 percent of their power play chances. The Jets will need their special teams to step up to help lead them out of their recent struggles.
Boston has the clear edge on special teams this season. The Bruins power play has a good chance to go off on the Jets struggling penalty kill in Thursday night’s matchup. I believe that Winnipeg’s power play could go off as well, but Boston’s penalty kill has been doing better to this point in the season. Special teams could play a key role in Thursday night’s matchup between these two teams.
Tuukka Rask will likely get the nod in net for the Bruins on Thursday night. Rask has earned a save percentage of .918 and a 2.41 GAA this season. He has put up a record of 24-9-5 to this point in the season. Rask has been doing well this season, but he will need to be at the top of his game to try and shut down a strong Winnipeg offense.
I believe that Connor Hellebuyck will start for the Jets on Thursday night. Hellebuyck has posted a record of 28-20-2, which has helped Winnipeg get to the point that they are at. In those games this season, he has put up a .909 save percentage and a GAA of 3.01 this season. Hellebuyck needs to pick up his game a little bit in my opinion if he wants to help lead the Jets on a deep playoff run.
Both of these goalies have put up strong numbers to this point in the season. Rask has been doing a little bit better in both record and stats. If Hellebuyck could step up his game on Thursday night though, I believe that he could help the Jets pull off the upset. The Bruins will look for Rask to keep his stats strong with a nice performance against Winnipeg.
These two teams have both lost back to back games, but both teams will look to come out fast to try and end their current losing streak. I believe that the Bruins will be able to pull off the upset on the road though. Boston has the better special teams as well as the stronger goalie to this point in the season. The Jets struggles have also been going on for a bit longer, which I believe could continue with a tough loss against the Bruins.
BetOnline has the Jets listed as a -115 against the money line. This implies that Winnipeg will win this game around 53.5 percent of the time. I believe that this game should be listed as even for both teams. The Jets have struggled over a decent amount of time, which I believe could give them some issues against an overall hot Boston squad. I am taking the Bruins as a road underdog.