Game 2 of an already intense Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets series will go Monday afternoon, in a special matinee edition of this rivalry.
Game 1 wasn’t much of a contest outside of the opening period. The Flames asserted their will on an unproven and untested Winnipeg Jets blueline, and although Connor Hellebuyck remained solid in goal – it’s tough when you’re facing an onslaught.
There were also some crushing blows on the injury front to the Jets, something that really won’t help them in this series. Star player Mark Scheifele went down early in Game 1, after Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk’s skate blade nicked the back of Scheifele’s leg. Without getting into too many details, it did not look good. Losing Scheifele is a huge disaster for the Jets, and he is quite doubtful to return to this series.
Making matters worse, the Jets also lost their top sniper in Finnish star Patrik Laine. The big shooter for the Jets took a crosscheck to his wrist, and had to leave the game. He’s also doubtful for Monday, and these absences will really force Paul Marueice to get creative with his depth options.
The opening game went about as poorly for the Jets as it could have. This has been a resilient group all season long, but can they bounce back without key talents? In a best-of-5 series, there isn’t too much time for patience. It’s now or never for the Jets, but a powerful Flames squad will look to push them to the brink. Keep reading on beneath the posted odds for a game preview and betting analysis for Game 2 between Winnipeg and Calgary.
Jets vs. Flames Betting Odds:
Winnipeg Jets (+134)
Calgary Flames (-148)
Over 5.5 (+112)
Under 5.5 (-123)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Jets vs. Flames Pick:
It will be interesting to see how Jets head coach Paul Mauriece deploys his lines for Monday’s crucial showdown with the Flames. Already thin on depth and scoring, Maurice will no doubt be looking for added contributions from the likes of Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers up front.
But with added focus on that duo now coming from the heralded Calgary defense corps, generating offense and scoring chances won’t be easy for the undermanned Jets.
Entering the restart, Winnipeg was one of the worst teams in terms of expected goals and chance generation at even strength, and without Scheifele and Laine – I cannot see how Winnipeg is competitive again in this game at 5v5.
The Flames are fully healthy and way deeper, and now with the Jets missing key pieces, they should be able to further assert their dominance in this series. Up front, Calgary holds a decisive speed and skill edge, and if Game 1 is any indication – they’re really enjoying playing this weak Jets’ blueline.
The Flames know back to last year how they took their foot off the pedal in their opening round matchup vs. Colorado, and have vowed for that not to happen again. The tough injuries to Scheifele and Laine hurt the Jets, but the Flames can’t and won’t feel sorry for them. They’re the more dominant side at 5v5, and should control the bulk of possession again in Game 2. Though the price is steeper, it’s still a tad short given the glaring omissions from the Winnipeg lineup. A Flames Game 2 rout seems to be in the cards for Monday.
Pick: Calgary 4-1