Weird night in the NHL on Thursday. The Lightning fell to the Flames at home. Likewise, for the Capitals against the Hurricanes in D.C. Elsewhere the Sabres beat the Blue Jackets. All the dogs cashed in, with a nice payout if you parlayed all three. Not the biggest card once again tonight, but there are a handful of good matchups. For our NHL pick tonight, we go to the United Center in Chicago where the Jets and Blackhawks. The last two meetings were in Winnipeg, with the Blackhawks earning wins of 5-2 and 5-1.
The Jets have been playing good hockey lately, though, capturing three wins in a row and wins in six of their last seven games. They are in prime position, with a record of 26-11-6 to reach the playoffs. The last time they were in the playoffs, they didn’t get very far, as they suffered a 4-0 sweep against the Ducks. If it weren’t for the Golden Knights, the Jets would have the title of the biggest surprise of 2017-18.
The Jets have been propelled by the play of Blake Wheeler. Along with Wheeler, Connor Hellebuyck has been a shining star for the Jets in net. Both were named to the All-Star roster, and it was well deserved. Wheeler has 14 goals and 38 assists. Plenty of his contributions won’t show up in a stat sheet, either. Hellebuyck has been a rock in net for the Jets. He enters tonight with a GAA of 2.36 and 0.923 save percentage.
It isn’t mind blowing numbers by any means, but he has stolen wins for the Jets often. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are still awaiting for Corey Crawford to return. However, he isn’t going to be coming back in the immediate future, and the Hawks have to survive with Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass. The plan is to just go with whoever has the hotter hand, and right now, Forsberg has responded after getting benched for Glass. We expect him to get the start against the Jets tonight. Head below for our free Jets vs. Blackhawks pick on Friday night.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick
Forsberg has looked better in his most recent starts. In his last three outings, he allowed 1, 2, and 2 goals. He was benched after getting drilled for 5 goals against vs the Canucks on the 28th. Forsberg came back on January 8th after Glass stepped in. He’s gotten himself together and saved the Blackhawks from the ultimate disaster, thus far anyway. If Forsberg runs into a pothole again, this season is going to get ugly in Chicago. Glass is not a suitable replacement. The Blackhawks blasted the Senators, 8-2, and then came back home to lose to the Wild, 2-1.
The Blackhawks are going to likely need a solid performance from Forsberg tonight. The Jets are finding the back of the net relatively easily. They’re averaging 3.41 goals per game overall, 3rd in the league, and 3.9 per game in their last ten games. They’ve scored 15 goals in their past three games, including 7 against the Sabres in a 7-4 win. In six of their last seven games, they have scored 4 goals or more. The Hawks have allowed 3.2 goals per game during that same ten-game stretch. Forsberg has been good in his last three starts, but overall, he’s been iffy, with a 2.92 GAA and 0.91 save percentage. The Blackhawks put up 10 on the Jets in their past two meetings. Despite a dead offensive effort against the Wild the other night, they should come to life on Friday night. Goals shouldn’t be difficult to come by in this matchup.
PICK: OVER 6 (-110)