The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers meet up on Monday night for a battle of Canadian teams. It’s also a meeting of teams going in opposite directions. The Jets had a brief stint with of success, reaching the playoffs in 2015, and then losing to the Anaheim Ducks in a four-game sweep. It appeared that it was going to be something that the Jets could build off of in Winnipeg, their third year in Canada since moving from Canada. They’ve been rather mediocre since, finishing with a record of 35-39-8 the year after, and then 40-35-7. They’re what I’ve referred to as the most vanilla team in the NHL. The Jets don’t do anything particularly great. Average, yeah, but nothing to put them over the top.
The Jets opened the season with a 7-2 loss against the Maple Leafs. The Leafs have a very good offence. Forget about everything before Auston Matthews got to Toronto. That was then, this is now, and the Leafs have already scored 15 goals in two games. The Jets didn’t help their cause any. In most cases, the Jets’ defence was just standing around while the Leafs bullied them. There wasn’t much effort or energy, but they had major troubles containing the speed of the Maple Leafs. They’re going to get another young, speedy bunch this evening.
The Jets will travel to Edmonton to see if they came tame Connor McDavid. They didn’t have a clue how to tame Auston Matthews and the Leafs, so we’ll see if it changes. The Oilers and Leafs are going to be compared to one another for the foreseeable future. The whole Matthews vs McDavid debut will rage on. Well, the Jets have the privilege of seeing both of them in less than a week. If you’re a fan going to the games, it’d be a pleasure, but a team doesn’t want to see Matthews and McDavid in the same week. We’ll see if the Jets fixed anything. Head below for our free Jets vs. Oilers pick.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick
After standing around against the Leafs, the Jets basically did the same thing against their next opponent, the Calgary Flames. The Flames ripped the Jets for another 6 goals. It brings them up to 13 goals allowed in their first two games of the year. I can understand a bad bounce here and there, but all of the goals I saw were from bad defence. I think this is going to be a problem we see from the Jets all season long. Dustin Byfuglien is an imposing figure on the blue line. The Jets also have some youth who have some potential. John Morrissey, Jacob Trouba, and Tyler Myers all look like they should be good players.
If you want somebody or something to blame, you can look at their goaltending. Steve Mason has been dreadful with a 0.831 save percentage. Behind him is Connor Hellebuyck. Neither are going to be able to steal games, which is what the Jets are going to need this season. Now, after allowing 13 goals to the Leafs and Flames, they’re going to have to contain McDavid and the Oiler offence. Speed was an issue for them against Toronto, and it shouldn’t be any different Monday night. The Oilers haven’t exploded on offence yet this season, but I think they use this game to put up 5 on Mason. Cam Talbot enters with a 0.909 save percentage thus far. There should be goals. I like Edmonton but don’t like laying -170. Therefore, the OVER looks appropriate.
PICK: OVER 5.5 (-115)