The NHL has a smaller slate of games on Monday night. Four games will be up on the board in the NHL on January 6. One of these matchups will be between the Winnipeg Jets and the Montreal Canadiens. Both teams are still in the playoff race, but have struggled a bit as of late. This game will start at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Jets have started this season out with a record of 22-16-4. Winnipeg is currently sitting in fourth place of the Central Division and the last wild card spot. The Jets are four points behind the Dallas Stars and three points ahead of the Minnesota Wild. Winnipeg has lost their last two games and five of their last six games. The Jets will look to bounce back with a road win on Monday night.
Montreal has earned a record of 18-17-7 throughout this season so far, which has them in sixth place of the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens are six points out of the final wild card spot going into this one. Montreal has lost five games in a row coming into this game. The Canadiens will look to finally put an end to this losing streak with a win over Winnipeg.
The Jets are currently holding onto a playoff spot entering this matchup, but are only a point ahead of the Calgary Flames, who are outside the playoff picture. Montreal is outside the playoff picture, but could still get in if they turn it around. Both teams are on losing streaks coming into this game, which should lead to a solid game as they both look to get back on track.
These two teams met up twice throughout last season. Montreal hosted the first game of the season series. Jonathan Drouin had two goals and two assists, while Phillip Danault finished with a goal and three assists to help give the Canadiens a 5-2 win. Winnipeg hosted the second game of the season series. Carey Price stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced as Montreal won 3-1.
The Jets and the Canadiens met once this season in Winnipeg on December 23. Mark Scheifele posted two assists for the Jets, but it was not enough. Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar both scored twice. Max Domi and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist in the win. Carey Price turned away 27 of the 29 shots in route to a 6-2 win for the Canadiens.
Montreal has won four of their last five games against the Jets and earned at least a point in all five of those games. The Canadiens have not won since their meeting against Winnipeg in late December and will look to get back on track against them. Winnipeg has struggled since that game as well and they will look for some revenge in this meeting.
The Jets power play has been operating around the league average so far this season. Winnipeg has capitalized on 26 of their 127 power play chances, which is a 20.5 percent success rate. The Jets penalty kill has not done well this season. Winnipeg has allowed opposing teams to score on 30 of their 106 attempts, which is a 71.7 percent penalty kill.
Montreal’s power play has also found ways to get going throughout this season. The Canadiens have scored on 25 of their 113 opportunities, which is a 22.1 percent power play this season. Montreal’s penalty kill has not been doing well though, allowing 29 goals on 125 chances, which is a 76.8 percent kill rate.
These two teams have posted solid power plays throughout this season, but have struggled on the penalty kill. The Canadiens have a slight advantage with the better power play going against a struggling Winnipeg penalty kill. The Jets do not take a lot of penalties, which could help them out in this one if they can stay disciplined.
I expect Connor Hellebuyck to get the nod in the crease for Winnipeg in this matchup. Hellebuyck has earned a record of 18-12-4 through his starts on the season. He has put up a save percentage of .919 and a 2.71 GAA. Hellebuyck’s last start came against the Minnesota Wild, where he stopped 31 of the 34 shots against him in an overtime loss.
Carey Price will likely get the start in net for the Canadiens in Monday night’s game. Price has posted a record of 16-14-4 through 34 starts on the season. In those 34 starts, he has earned a .902 save percentage and a GAA of 3.00. Price’s last start was against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He finished with 34 saves on 37 shots in a losing effort.
The Jets have the slight advantage in this one with Hellebuyck getting the start in crease. Hellebuyck has had a strong season so far, while Price’s numbers have not been great. Hellebuyck has had a save percentage below .900 in five of his last eight starts. Hellebuyck will look to try and build off his strong performance in his last start as he tries to get the Jets back in the winning column against Montreal.
Montreal has won four of their last five games against the Jets, but I believe that Winnipeg will earn a win in this one. These two teams are coming into this matchup on a losing streak, but I believe that the Jets have a good chance to end their losing streak in this one. If Winnipeg can avoid taking unnecessary penalties, it will help them overcome the Canadiens advantage on special teams. If Hellebuyck can put up a strong performance as well, I think it will help the Jets earn a road win.
BetOnline has Montreal listed as a -152 against the money line. This implies that the Canadiens will win this game around 60.3 percent of the time. Montreal is at home in this game, but I believe that the Jets have the better team. Winnipeg already lost once to the Canadiens this season, and I expect that they will change up their strategies to avoid getting swept again by Montreal.