Jets vs. Ducks Pick – NHL April 18th

It is a nice story that the Winnipeg Jets are back in the playoffs. After their long awaited return to Winnipeg, formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, it didn’t take long for the Jets to make it back in the playoffs. However, is it going to be a quick end to their Stanley Cup hopes? The Jets and their fans are probably just happy to be in the position that they are in. I am sure that the city is thrilled that the Jets are going to be back playing hockey playoff, as it should give the region a nice economic boost. Against the Ducks though, it may not last all that long. Like I just said the Jets are happy to be here, the Ducks on the other hand want more, and need more. A second round exit for the Ducks would be bad enough, but getting knocked off in the first would be disastrous. They had another strong regular season that put them atop the NHL, but it will all be for nothing if they choke again in the playoffs. Get to the finals or it won’t be good enough for this organization. They’ve had several successful regular seasons in a row, and another this season. Cup or bust for the Ducks.

The Jets have showcased plenty of fight and heart to get to this point, but they have a uphill battle in front of them. The Ducks should be able to wear the Jets down and take this series. A lot of the series in this playoffs should be long and competitive, but this might be the one where one team runs the tables. I had the Ducks winning the series by 5 games and I don’t see any reason why they don’t at this point. Let’s look a little deeper into this game though, and see where my money is going to go tonight. I have had a rough May with some hard beats thrown in there, but there is still time to turn it around and make a turn in the other direction.

Winnipeg Jets @ Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have been one of the best home teams in the NHL the past couple of seasons. Playing in Anaheim has been a weapon for the Ducks. Armed with a 27-12-1-2 record at home and leading the league last season in home wins, the Ducks have no excuses for faltering. They are bigger, faster, and more experienced than the Jets. I don’t see how they keep up in this series and should be feeling a little worn down by the time they get back to Winnipeg. If the Ducks stay focused and avoid the lapses, which they have in the past, they are going to win tonight and win the series. After lapses after lapses year after year of late, I see a change in attitude from the Ducks. They want people to take them seriously, and the only way that is going to happen is if they make a deep run here. The Ducks outlasted the Jets in game 1 with a 4-2 win;however, a loss tonight against the Jets heading to Winnipeg is going to have Ducks’ fans chewing on their finger nails. This is really a big game for both teams, maybe more so for the Ducks who have more of the pressure on their backs. The Jets are playing with house money.

I didn’t see this being a good matchup for the Jets from the beginning, and historically, they have had lots of troubles solving this team. The Jets don’t have any answers for Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry around the net and it has shown. The Ducks are winners of 6 of 7 in their last seven meetings, and have beaten the Jets in five straight. All five wins coming within around the last calendar year, so the lineups are relatively the same with no major differences. The Ducks should win both at home in this series before dropping one on the road. I have them winning the series 4-1 and I’ll stay with that prediction. Ducks on the money line for me tonight.