The Winnipeg Jets got a late goal in the 3rd to put away with Red Wings with a 2-1 win last night. 2 or 3 goals is more often than not going to be good enough to knock off the Wings. If it weren’t for Jimmy Howard, it could have easily been a 4-1 game instead of a 2-1 final. Howard is going to have to bail the Red Wings out frequently this season.
If he doesn’t have an exceptional year, the Wings are destined for dead last in the NHL. However, with that, they will have the 1st overall pick in the draft, which is likely their best route at this point. In other words, going into tank mode wouldn’t be the worst strategy for the Red Wings. There have been rumours that Steve Yzerman will be making his return to the organization.
The Jets make a short trip from Detroit to Toronto where they’ll meet with another Original 6 club. The Jets and Maple Leafs just met in Winnipeg, which resulted in a 4-2 victory for the Leafs. They were stuck in mud before they got back in the win column on Wednesday. The Leafs were losers of two in a row and you would have thought the sky was falling if you talked to any of their fans. Yes, the offence was ugly and scored just 1 goal in two games, but come on, it’s two games in October.
Every team is going to hit minor droughts, no matter how talented they are. The Leafs have a stacked roster with goal scorers all over the place, so they are going to be just fine. If their defence can hold up in the playoffs that’s a different story. They’re also still trying to entice William Nylander to sign his contract and get back on the ice. Kapanen has been playing better than excepted, but Nylander brings another dimension to their roster. Frederik Andersen will be between pipes for this one. Hellebuyck got the night off last night and will be back in net in Toronto. Head below for our free Jets vs. Maple Leafs pick.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
Brossoit was sharp in net for the Jets last night, but the crease still belongs to Hellebuyck in Winnipeg. He hasn’t gotten off to an ideal start, as his 2.99 GAA indicates, but he can still end up with some of the better numbers in the NHL. He will have to turn it up if he wants to win the Vezina, though. Hellebuyck will have to face a Toronto offence who sprang to life against his team the other day. They were silent for a couple of days straight and then came through with 4 goals in a 4-2 win. The loss for the Jets snapped a four-game winning streak. They responded last night to jump to 7-3-1 on the season. The Leafs enter with a record of 7-3-0.
Despite a brief moment of frustration on the offensive side for the Leafs, they are averaging 3.8 goals per game and have scored at least 4 goals in six of their last eight games. The offence has always seemed to come out and play hard against the Jets as well. Toronto have scored an average of 4.25 goals in their previous four meetings with Winnipeg. The Jets have gone just 2-2 on the road this season, with losses against the Stars and Predators and wins against the Blues and Red Wings. They’ve been getting caught allowing too much action around their net, with an average of 35 shots allowed per game. On a nice two-day break and the Jets on a back-to-back, look for the Leafs to take care of business at home on Saturday night.