The Winnipeg Jets travel out east for a business trip in Boston against the Bruins. The Bruins are trying to find their bearings, while the Jets would be happy to finish above .500 this season. After reaching the playoffs two seasons ago, though, higher expectations were placed on the Jets. They weren’t able to go forward, ultimately missing out on the playoffs last year and falling under .500. That’s what happens when your two best players depart for other cities. The Jets parted ways with both Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd. Ladd went back to the Blackhawks in an effort to stockpile some talent in Winnipeg.
The trade hasn’t gone well for them thus far, with no positives results in Winnipeg since Ladd has left town. Playmaking is a major issue with the Jets, with no top-flight playmakers on the roster, the Jets have to find goals other ways. The Jets also have to find creative ways to attract talent to come to Winnipeg. Tanking for a couple years probably wouldn’t be the worst idea to be completely honest.
The Jets will predictably finish somewhere around the .500 mark. They couldn’t get away from it last season, and here we are, about a month into the season and they are 9-8-2. The Jets would be able to savour a nice win here on the road against a storied Original 6 franchise. After a rather poor year for Tuukka Rask and the Bruins’ defense as a whole, Rask has come back with a whole new mindset. Whatever he did in the offseason is certainly working, as he has been able to lead the Bruins to an okay start of 10-7-0. Without Rask playing as well as he has been, it’s reasonable to say that the Bruins would be under .500 at this point. We’ll see what kind of performance he brings to the equation tonight against the Jets.
Rask has been terrific, as he enters this contest with a save percentage of 0.947. Further, Rask owns a GAA of 1.49 GAA for an NHL best. The Bruins look like a different team defensively, allowing 2.29 goals per game for 6th in the league. This time last season the Bruins were way back in the bottom 20. They have been playing particularly well on the defensive side of things lately as well. In their last three outings, they’ve allowed just 2 goals in total. In their last four games, they have allowed an average of 1 goal per game. In seven of ten games, the Bruins have also allowed 2 or less goals, with 2 goals only happening on one occasion.
The UNDER has gone 3-0 in their last three tilts. Likewise, the Jets have gone UNDER 4-1 in their last five games. Also, this is a series that has traditionally gone UNDER the number. In their last ten meetings, they’ve favored the UNDER, 7-2-1. Rask has done particularly well against the Jets in his career, as he’s posted a 2.04 GAA in 17 games against them. Jets’ goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck, has assumed the starting duties following a hot string of success lately. In his last five games, Hellebuyck has notched four wins and allowed 2 or less goals in all of them. This one has the makings of a goaltending battle between Hellebuyck and Rask, with a low scoring contest the ensuing result.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (-105)