Jets vs. Ducks NHL Pick – October 13, 2021

The NHL season is underway, but no one told the Tampa Bay Lightning as they came out flatter than a pancake after raising their second straight Stanley Cup banner, dropping their opener to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 6-2 count.

While a win out of the gate would have been ideal, we’ll get back on the right track here with a Jets vs. Ducks NHL Pick from Anaheim!

Jets vs. Ducks Betting Odds

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline

Teams Moneyline Puck Line Total
Jets -139 -1.5 (+175) Over 5.5 (-103)
Ducks +126 +1.5 (-205) Under 5.5 (-107)

Jets vs. Ducks NHL Pick Breakdown

Jets

Offense

There wasn’t a bigger shake up in the early part of last season when the Jets traded Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for disgruntled center Pierre-Luc Dubois.

While the trade didn’t pay major dividends for either club as of yet, the Jets did lose some offense in Laine and finished the season ranked 12th with 3.04 goals per game. They were dynamite on the power play with a 23% clip that ranked seventh, the Jets probably would have liked to be better at 5v5.

In 5v5 situations, the Jets ranked 25th in terms of high-danger chances/60 and 23rd in expected goals for/60. A weak blueline that struggled with zone exits and were largely unable to get the puck to some talented forwards up front is a key issue as to why this group fell off so much at even strength, but a second-ranked 21.86% shooting rate at 5v5 helped them finish 13th in overall 5v5 offense.

I would expect this team to get inside the top 10 on offense this season. There’s a serious talent level with Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and Dubois while the club also re-signed veteran center Paul Stastny.

Retaining Stastny adds to the club’s excellent depth at the center ice position, but is key right out of the gate as you might remember Scheifele is suspended for the first game of the season after a hit on Montreal’s Jake Evans in the postseason. He served the first three of his four-game suspension during that series before missing tonight’s opener.

Defense

As noted, the Jets’ defense was a weak spot last season, and while I’m more optimistic about this year’s group, they simply have to be a lot better.

Some may look at the Jets finishing 10th in overall defense with just 2.71 goals per game allowed and suggest they had a good year on the back end. I say that’s a wildly inaccurate assessment as the Jets also ranked 26th in scoring chances against/60, 27th in high-danger chances against/60 and 27th again in expected goals against/60.

So, how does one allow so many chances and produce a top-1o defense? Clearly it’s goaltending as the Jets ranked sixth with a .924 SV% at 5v5, but more on that in a minute.

When it comes to this year’s defense corps, there are a pair of key additions that may not be all that sexy, but absolutely should help the cause. In trading for Brendan Dillon, the Jets acquired the precise type of defender they needed. A top-four, defensive defenseman that is physical and capable of playing against the opposition’s best.

Also added was Nate Schmidt in a trade with Vancouver. While he’s not as good defensively as Dillon, Schmidt’s strong suit is his skating ability which helps zone exits and advancing the puck to an excellent-looking top six up front.

With Neal Pionk, Josh Morrissey and Dylan Demelo already in the fold, the Jets’ blueline all the sudden looks far better than it did at this time last season.

Goaltending

The Jets’ goaltending carried them to the dance last season, and as long as Connor Hellebuyck is around, the crease will be the least of the team’s concerns.

Hellebuyck is coming off a strong 2.58 GAA and .916 Sv% from last season, numbers that are rather epic considering the rate at which this team allowed prime scoring opportunities. Despite being left out to dry, Hellebuyck ranked eighth among goaltenders who played at least 20 games with 10.99 goals saved above average (GSAA), as per Hockey Reference. He’s also an absolute workhorse and one of the few remaining true No. 1 netminders in this league.

Keep in mind this guy also won the Vezina Trophy in 2019-20, a season in which the Jets actually produced worse defensive metrics than the 2020-21 figures noted above. If this defense is indeed improved as I suspect it is, he’ll challenge for that honor once again.

There is a change behind Hellebuyck with Eric Comrie as the No. 2 rather than Laurent Brossoit who also enjoyed plenty of success a season ago, but don’t be surprised if Hellebuyck leads the league in starts while producing elite results along the way.

Ducks

Offense

It didn’t get an uglier from an offensive standpoint than it did in Anaheim last season.

Indeed, the Ducks ranked last in both overall offense with just 2.21 goals per game, but their 8.9% clip on the power play was historically poor. The thing is, they didn’t exactly bolster this group a whole lot as it’s going to be on the young guys to take a step forward if they’re to improve this time around.

I mean, the veteran core of Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique, Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg remain. They’ll also get a full season out of Trevor Zegras after he debuted with a solid 13 points in 24 games last season, but also recorded 21 points in just 17 AHL games. Fellow prospect Jamie Drysdale — a defenseman — will also get his first full tour of the league after notching eight points in 24 NHL games last season and 10 points in 14 AHL games.

Otherwise, it’s Troy Terry, Max Jones, Maxime Comtois and Sam Steele that needed to take another step forward as part of the next Ducks core. None of those players have made an impact at the NHL level as of yet, and need to produce as they approach their mid-20s.

That said, it should still be a fairly bleak offensive picture this season, even if the youngsters pick it up a notch. A similar lineup ranked 27th in expected goals for/60, and while the power play cannot possibly be worse, don’t expect a surge from a group that lacks star power at the moment.

Defense

Usually their strong point, the Ducks’ back end as struggled in recent years even if there appears to be some workable pieces on that blueline.

It’s a group that steered the club to a 23rd-ranked 3.16 goals against per game, but the underlying metrics were actually worse. The Ducks ranked 24th in scoring chances against/60, 26th in high-danger chances against/60 and 26th again in expected goals against/60 at 5v5 and a sub-80% penalty kill didn’t help much, either.

We’ll get to John Gibson in a minute, but it’s a little bit of a surprising result across the board as the likes of Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler and Josh Manson form the core of that blueline, and while Fowler might not be the best defensive defenseman around, that’s a workable start. Drysdale, Kevin Shattenkirk and veteran Greg Pateryn should round out of the group to start.

I’m not sure the Pacific Division is stacked with elite offensive clubs, but I can’t help but expect this group to at least be somewhat better this season. I felt that way last season as well, however, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Goaltending

John Gibson was long one of the most underrated goaltenders in the league, but has hit a major wall of late.

On the heels of a career-worst 3.00 GAA and .904 Sv% in the 2019-20 season, Gibson’s 2020-21 production was nearly identical with a 2.98 GAA and .903 Sv%. Even with those two down seasons he still sports an excellent 2.58 GAA and .917 Sv% for his career in parts of eight seasons, but he’s fallen off a cliff of late.

If that weren’t enough, his -5.00 GSAA ranked him 51st among goaltenders who played at least 10 games last season. The retired Ryan Miller posted an ugly -11.00 mark (62nd) as well, and when you add it up the Ducks received the league’s 27th-ranked goaltending unit at 5v5 with a save percentage of .911.

He’s still just 28 years old and technically in his prime years, so I really wonder if Gibson can get it turned around, but the blueline in front of him needs to be more supportive as well.

Betting Trends

Jets

  • Jets are 1-7 in their last eight games as a favorite
  • Jets are 29-14 in their last 43 games as a road favorite
  • Under is 5-1 in the Jets’ last six road games
  • Under is 20-6-2 in the Jets’ last 28 games vs. the Pacific Division

Ducks

  • Ducks are 5-23 in their last 28 games as a home underdog
  • Ducks are 16-41 in their last 57 home games
  • Under is 11-5 in the Ducks’ last 16 games overall
  • Under is 11-5 in the Ducks’ last 16 games as an underdog

Head to Head

  • Jets are 6-1 in the last seven meetings
  • Favorite is 8-1 in the last nine meetings
  • Under is 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings in Anaheim

Jets vs. Ducks NHL Pick

It’s shaping up to be another long season in Anaheim despite the promotion of their top two prospect in Zegras and Drysdale.

More than anything, it’s just going to be difficult for this Ducks offense to get much past Hellebuyck in this one. While splits can certainly vary from year to year, I’ll note that he posted a 2.44 GAA and .925 Sv% on the road last season, so he’s not at any disadvantage here in Anaheim tonight.

I don’t like the fact Scheifele isn’t dressed, but there’s a wealth of offensive talent in Winnipeg and if this Ducks back end between the blueline and Gibson are not improved, they’re going to be in trouble in this matchup.

The Jets actually went 17-10-1 on the road last season with only the Capitals and Golden Knights winning more on the road with 19 victories apiece. The Ducks went a dreadful 6-18-4 at the Honda Center in Anaheim compared to a far superior 11-12-5 on the road.

To me, this one has Winnipeg written all over it, so I’ll ride them on the moneyline this evening.

The Bet
JETS
-139
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.

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