The Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues are at the Enterprise Center tonight, where they’ll drop the puck on what should be a good matchup. Winnipeg, the more desperate side in this one, have to get things clicking soon or they will be watching the playoffs from home. It hasn’t been a terrible season for the Jets, but it also hasn’t been great or anything.
They are on the outside looking in on the postseason going into St. Louis. The Jets hold a record of 26-23-5 and 57 points. That’s only good for fifth in the Central Division. Considering that the Avalanche, the No. 3 team has 64 points, it’s not going to be easy to catch a ride into the playoffs that way.
The easiest route to the playoffs is going to be with a Western Conference wildcard berth. Calgary is currently in possession of that spot at 60 points, so that’s certainly reachable for the Jets. From what we’ve seen out of Winnipeg this season thus far, they haven’t exactly looked like a playoff team, though.
Definitely not a team who deserves to go to the playoffs, but the gap isn’t that far between a wildcard and the Jets. There is still a lot of time left with two months on the regular season calendar. If the Jets were to squeak into the playoffs, they’re going to be greeted by a really good team in the Western Conference. That team could be the Blues of St. Louis.
St. Louis got started way earlier this season after a lowly first-half in 2018-19. Instead of going from last to first, the Blues have had a different approach this season. They head into Thursday night with a sharp record of 32-14-8 and 72 points. Instead of being a surprise newcomer in the playoffs last season, a bulls eye is going to be on their backs.
Having said that, the Blues have been one of the most well-rounded teams in the league this season. They have a seven-point advantage on the Stars for first in the Western Conference. In their current form, it’s highly unlikely that the Jets would be able to bother the Blues in a seven-game series. That’s why they play the games, though, and we’ve seen crazier things happen in the NHL. Head below for our free Jets vs. Blues pick.
Winnipeg Jets vs. St. Louis Blues Betting Odds:
Jets vs. Blues Prediction:
The Jets have had to deal with a slew of injuries this season, and will continue to be without Carl Dahlstrom and Tucker Poolman tonight. There is some hope that Nathan Beaulieu will be able to return to action tonight after being removed from the IR. The Blues have been working without Vladimir Tarasenko this season, but you wouldn’t know it by their production on the ice.
Tarasenko’s return remains unclear, with maybe a return in the playoffs on the table. The Blues have fared well without him, though, as the offence has played well for 3.2 goals scored per game. For the Jets, the most discouraging sign has been their offensive production. With just 2.89 goals scored per game, the Jets are 19th in the league offensively.
There haven’t been signs of improvement on the offensive front for the Jets recently either. They’ve bagged a measly 2.2 goals per game in their last ten outings, with 3 or more goals scored in just two of their previous seven games. One of those games was against the Blues, though, where they scored 5 goals in a 5-2 victory. The Blues came ill-prepared and didn’t play like they wanted to be in Winnipeg. They are typically a vastly different team at the Enterprise Center than on the road.
The Blues are one of only two teams in the league who’ve recorded 18 wins at home thus far. They own a strong record of 18-4-4 in St. Louis this season. The goal scoring problems for the Jets will likely be an issue against this Blues’ defence. They’ve allowed just 2.31 goals per game at home. Jordan Binnington has been much better in the crease at home than on the road. Note that he has a 2.23 GAA and 0.921 save percentage at home as opposed to a 3.26 GAA and 0.896 save percentage on the road.
Despite the recent win for the Jets over the Blues, that was pretty well their only solid performance of late. They are winners in only two of their previous ten outings, scoring only 2.2 goals per game while allowing 3.2 goals a game in the defensive zone. And prior to that win against the Blues, they were on a four-game losing streak against St. Louis. The Jets are going into the Enterprise Center with four straight losses on the road, and they’re 1-7 in their previous eight games as an underdog. The Blues should pull away in the third period for a win in regulation in this one.