The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Winnipeg for a matchup with the Jets, in what many would call, one of those trap games. The Pens are on fire this season, and have won two in a row before heading to the Jets, but there is one knock to find on this team. Their ability to play to their level on the road has been severely tested in 2016-17. We had a winning NHL pick last night, let’s look for some more.
With a record of 13-12-4 away from home, they’ve depended on their unbeatable presence in Pittsburgh. Does this always dictate the playoffs? Well, in short, not really. There are examples of teams who bounce those kinds of trends in the playoffs.
How about the San Jose Sharks? They were absolutely pathetic at home during the regular season, but shaped up in the playoffs to go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Penguins should enjoy home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, so they would have a major advantage in that respect. In other words, it’s important for them to finish ahead of the Capitals in the standings for playoff seeding. This didn’t matter last season, but nobody likes to play with fire twice.
The Capitals currently have 95 points, and for that matter, the Columbus Blue Jackets have an edge up on the Pens too, with 90 points compared to 88 for Pittsburgh. The Blue Jackets are that team everyone is forgetting about, but it does feel a lot an awfully like the Avalanche from a few years ago.
Super regular season, from out of nowhere, and then their lack of experience in the playoffs did them in. I suspect a similar fate for the Jackets two months from now. The Caps and Pens are still the teams to beat. All I care about tonight, though, is whether the Penguins can beat the Jets. Let’s get down to our Penguins vs. Jets pick for Wednesday night in the NHL.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Winnipeg Jets Pick
The Pens motto in this game is to not overlook the Jets. The Jets and the crowd is going to be amped up to welcome Crosby and the Penguins. I think the Jets’ biggest weapon, is well, playing in Winnipeg. There aren’t too many players who are too excited to go and travel to Winnipeg.
Additionally, the Penguins are just a game above .500 on the road, so maybe the Jets are going to get a big win here tonight? They still have some work to do. The Penguins are going to be tough to beat come playoff time, and this game won’t skew that in any way. They are averaging an impressive 3.45 goals per game, which is 1st in the NHL.
The defence for the Penguins has taken a bit of a hit, and is where the Capitals hope they can nudge their ways in and beat them in the playoffs. They’re allowing 2.78 goals per game for 16th in the league. Not horrible, but note where they were last season in the defensive department, which was much better than 16th. The Jets, though, are 27th on defence. The Jets might be more excited to be playing tonight, but I don’t see it mattering much. The pick tonight in the NHL is on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
PICK: PENGUINS TO WIN -135