The NHL has a busy night of action on Thursday night with twelve games up on the board. One of these matchups on December 12 will be the second game of a home and home between the Winnipeg Jets and the Detroit Red Wings. Both teams will look for a win on Thursday night as the puck will drop around 7:30 in this one.
Winnipeg has started out the season with a record of 19-10-2, which has them in third place of the Central Division. The Jets are two points behind the St. Louis Blues and one point behind the Colorado Avalanche in the standings. Winnipeg has won two games in a row and six of their last eight games. The Jets will look to earn another win against Detroit on Thursday night.
The Red Wings have started out the season with a disappointing 7-22-3 record, which has them in last place of the entire NHL. Detroit is six points behind the New Jersey Devils, which are second worst in the league. The Red Wings have lost twelve games in a row coming into this matchup and sixteen of their last nineteen games. Detroit will look to end this losing streak in this one.
The Jets and the Red Wings met up only on Tuesday night in Winnipeg and will meet up again in this one. These two teams have had very opposite starts to the season, but will both look for a win. Detroit has looked like they will be a serious contender for the top overall pick this season and will look to try and move up the standings a bit before it is too late.
Winnipeg and Detroit met up two times throughout last season. The Red Wings hosted the first game of the season series. Kyle Connor and Dustin Byfuglien both scored to help the Jets win 2-1. The second game of the season series shifted to Winnipeg, where Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists to help the Jets sweep the season series with a 4-2 win.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by Winnipeg on December 10. Andrew Copp and Blake Wheeler both had a goal and an assist. Christoffer Ehn had the only goal for the Red Wings to tie it up at 1-1 before the Jets went off. Laurent Brossoit had a 15 shot shutout, while Connor Hellebuyck allowed a goal on two shots when he came in for a pad malfunction with Brossoit. Winnipeg pulled away with a dominant 5-1 win.
The Jets have won four games in a row against the Red Wings. Detroit has been near the bottom of the league standings over the last few seasons, while Winnipeg has been a consistent playoff contender. This seems to be the case again this season, but I believe that the Red Wings will have a good chance to pull off the win to end this losing streak on Thursday night.
The Jets special teams have not been off to a good start this season, despite their strong start. Winnipeg’s power play has capitalized on 15 of their 96 chances, which is a 15.6 percent success rate. The Jets penalty kill has held opposing teams to 17 goals on 76 opportunities, which is a 77.6 percent kill rate on the season.
Detroit’s power play has struggled this season as well. The Red Wings power play has scored 15 goals on 101 chances, which is good enough for a 14.9 percent. Detroit’s penalty kill has allowed 28 goals on 102 opportunities to their opponents this season. The Red Wings penalty kill has killed off 72.6 percent of the penalties against them.
Winnipeg’s special teams have not been doing well this season, but they had an alright night on Tuesday. The Jets scored a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in their win over the Red Wings. I believe that Detroit will make some solid adjustments coming into this one to try and avoid Winnipeg dominating them on special teams again.
Connor Hellebuyck is expected to get the start in the crease for Winnipeg on Tuesday night. Hellebuyck has a record of 15-7-2 through his games played. He has earned a save percentage of .933 and a 2.24 GAA. Hellebuyck’s last start was against the Anaheim Ducks, where he turned away 31 of the 33 shots against him in route to a victory.
I believe that Jonathan Bernier will get the nod in the net in this matchup. Bernier has earned a 5-9-2 record through his 16 starts on the season. He has a .888 save percentage and a GAA of 3.41 throughout those starts. Bernier’s last start came against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced as the Red Wings took the loss.
The Jets have a big edge with Hellebuyck in net for this game. Hellebuyck has put up strong numbers this season and it has helped lead to Winnipeg’s success. Bernier on the other hand has struggled, but he has not gotten much help from Detroit’s defense. The Red Wings were able to score their only goal on Hellebuyck on Tuesday night and will look to try and solve him again in this one.
Winnipeg has pulled out four straight wins against the Red Wings, including a win on Tuesday night, but I believe Detroit will win on Thursday. The Red Wings are on a long losing streak and I think it is due time for them to end it. Detroit can match up well with the Jets on special teams, so if they can play a solid game during five on five play, they could pull off the upset.
BetOnline has Winnipeg listed as a -178 against the money line in this game. This implies that the Jets will win this game around 64 percent of the time. Winnipeg has been the much better team, but the Red Wings have a lot of value as huge underdogs at home. Teams do well on the second night of a home and home after losing the first one and I think Detroit could continue this trend.