The Winnipeg Jets welcome the Vancouver Canucks at MTS Place for a Tuesday night date. With the Canucks and Jets both bubble teams, this is a crucial contest, as is the rest of their games on the schedule. It may come down to a point or here there for a wildcard, so any missed opportunity now is going to hurt later.
If the playoffs were to begin today, the Canucks would be going to the playoffs as the 3rd best team in the Pacific Division. Things are so close right now in the Pacific that standing positioning is a bit meaningless at the moment. The Canucks hope to be the team to pull away from the pack and take charge in the division. Conversely, the Jets are just a point behind the Oilers for a wildcard.
I don’t think there has been any surprises with the Canucks this season. They have been stockpiling some young talent the past few years and looked like they were shaping up to be a playoff team. It may not happen this season, but the Canucks are heading in the right direction with the core they have in place.
The Flames did the same and busted out for the best record in the Western Conference last season. Perhaps the Canucks can get to that point in the coming years. The Canucks are in a good spot for the future with Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Quinn Hughes, and Bo Horvat. All are talented young players who are only going up from here.
The Jets may have experienced their apex a couple of years ago, but we’ll see what comes of this season. They went to the Western Conference Final in what was a surprising matchup against an expansion team. Winnipeg were stopped right there, and didn’t get an opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup versus the Capitals. Can they get back to that level? It certainly doesn’t look like it this season, though they’re still in a decent position at 24-18-4 and 52 points in the Western Conference. All it can take is a seat at the table in the playoffs to get to the Final.
The Canucks are coming off a nice 4-1 win in Minnesota against the Wild on Sunday. It doesn’t look like a big win on the surface, but the Wild have frustrated a lot of teams at home this year. Vancouver weren’t having any of it, though. They were also recent winners over Sabres by a score of 6-3 the night before. Following two awful losses against the Lightning and Panthers, the Canucks have looked much better. Head below for our free Canucks vs. Jets pick below.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Odds:
Canucks vs. Jets Prediction:
The Canucks put on ugly displays against the Lightning and Panthers, having lost 9-2 and 5-2 for a combined score of 14-4. They were happy to get out of Florida and regroup in Buffalo. A couple of horrible efforts like that can sometimes wake a team up and get them going in the right direction. There are others, though, who just crumble and a terrible game snowballs into a lost season. What they managed to do against the Sabres and Wild was definitely a good sign. It wasn’t fluky wins either, the effort was there and they executed their game plan well. Other than those disastrous games versus the Lightning and Panthers, the Canucks haven’t played bad hockey.
Vancouver has gotten superb production from their playmakers since around mid-December. They’ve netted an average of 3.9 goals per game, with at least 4 goals scored in six out of their past ten outings. Boeser and Horvat both showed up in big ways in Buffalo and Minnesota, as Boeser buried 2 goals against the Sabres, and Horvat followed up with a 2-goal performance against the Wild.
Heading into Tuesday night, the Canucks are a top-10 offence, having scored 3.3 goals per game. And despite the terrible defensive performances against the Lightning and Panthers, the Canucks haven’t been bad in that regard recently as well. They’ve allowed 2 or fewer goals in six out of their last ten games. Meanwhile, the Jets have gotten throttled for 3.9 goals against in their last ten games. That’s while scoring only 2.9 goals per game, so they certainly deserve to have only three wins in their last ten outings.
The Jets are on a monster run against the Canucks. Since 2016, they’ve won nine straight games and have already notched a 4-1 win against the Canucks this season. However, it’s going to come to an end at some point. The Canucks are the best they’ve been since 2015, with a rebuilding process taking place shortly after, so the Jets got to pick on a lot of bad Canucks team the last few seasons. But, the price in this game must have taken those years into account, because I don’t see the Jets as -135 favourites here. They should probably be the favourite at home, but not that heavy. Vancouver likely has a better chance of winning than the odds indicate, providing us with a good value spot on the road dog.