The Vancouver Canucks do a quick turnaround, as they flew from Chicago last night to Winnipeg for a meeting with the Jets tonight. It couldn’t have been a pleasant plane ride to Winnipeg. They had a discouraging performance against the Blackhawks, which resulted in a 5-2 loss at the United Center in downtown Chicago. Corey Crawford was up the task, as he stopped 38 of 36 shots sent his way. The loss ended an eight-game point streak for the Canucks. They won five of eight games with three defeats in overtime.
Vancouver head into Winnipeg with a record of 9-4-3. A nice start for a team with something to prove in 2019-20. I think the best has yet to come for the Canucks, so even if they don’t cause some noise this season, they’re a young team with a bright future. In any event, there is a lot more hope surrounding this club than there has been in the past several years. Their last playoff appearance came in 2014-15 and the last time they won a playoff series was in the 2012-13 season. Canucks’ fans have been waiting for something to get excited about and it’s about that time in Vancouver.
Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat are reason enough to be excited about the future in Vancouver. But there’s also Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller, and Quinn Hughes to look out for on the Canucks. The 20-year-old Hughes has been a tremendous asset for the Canucks on the blue line. It isn’t easy to find really good defenceman in the NHL, but the Canucks have one in Hughes. This season should be good for the Canucks. However, next season promises to really be a breakout year for them. I didn’t even mention Thatcher Demko, who looks like the clear centrepiece for the Canucks between the pipes. With Markstrom getting the nod last night, Demko is expected to be called on in Winnipeg. Head below for our free Canucks vs. Jets pick.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets Pick
The Jets have been slow starters for the most part this season. Whether they ever get going and back to 2018-19 form is up for debate right now. Winnipeg have enjoyed some nice success over the past few years, which included a trip to the Western Conference Final in 2017-18. They came up short with a 4-1 series defeat, but it was an impressive run for the Jets. The Jets had a lot of regular season success with a record of 47-30-5 last season, but had some issues with the eventual Stanley Cup Champs in the first-round. They’ve been up and down with a record of 8-7-1 going into Friday.
Unlike the Canucks, the Jets have had a lot of time off leading to tonight. They haven’t played since a 2-1 loss against the Devils in a shootout on Tuesday night in Winnipeg. Winnipeg have been well below average at home this season, with a record of 3-4-1 and only 1.88 goals scored per game at MTS Place. That has to get better as we progress here. The Jets will likely see some variance in a positive direction and begin to see some more goals fall at home. Connor Hellebuyck has been holding up his end of the bargain, as he’s been sharp with a 2.41 GAA and 0.93 save percentage this year.
Hellebuyck has played lights out between the pipes against the Canucks in his career. He owns a 1.67 GAA and 0.938 save percentage in six games against Vancouver. The Jets as a team have thoroughly dominated the Canucks. They’ve won eight straight contests against the Canucks and are 12-1 in their previous thirteen outings against them. The Jets are also 7-0 in their last seven against the Canucks in Winnipeg. Coming off a two-night break and catching the Canucks on a back-to-back after playing in Chicago last night, the Jets should be able to find a win in this spot.