My most recent free NHL pick came on Friday and it was a letdown in a matchup between the Ducks and Maple Leafs.
I had the Maple Leafs to win that one on the puckline at +105 odds, and once again it looked good throughout. A dominant second period saw the Maple Leafs gain a 3-1 lead, but like it did earlier in the week with the Leafs, that lead disappeared.
Long story short, the Maple Leafs managed to escape with a 5-4 OT win but my puckline pick as dead much earlier than that.
Another frustrating loss, but let’s turn the page and dive into this 11-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 92-80-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Rangers vs. Jets from Winnipeg!
Rangers vs. Jets Betting Odds
- Rangers (+106)
- Jets (-117)
- Rangers +1.5 (-213)
- Jets -1.5 (+183)
- Over 6.5 (-102)
- Under 6.5 (-108)
Rangers vs. Jets NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Rangers have played well of late, grabbing wins in four of their last six games but also winning just twice over a four-game homestand before getting the road for the first of a three-game trip beginning tonight in Winnipeg.
It’s been a struggle for the blueshirts on the road this season as they’ve gone just 11-11-2 away from Madison Square Garden despite their ability to put the puck in the net just about everywhere they’ve played this season.
The Rangers will enter this one tied for 12th with an even 3.00 goals per game on the road this season where their power play sits 14th with a 19.7% clip.
That’s the good news. The bad news is they haven’t fared well at the other end of the ice on the road – or at home – and they’ve been dominated in the possession game in both spots as well.
The Rangers rank 19th with 3.29 goals against per game on the road this season and their 79% mark on the penalty kill away from home checks in at 13th.
That said, they are getting outshot by an average of 5.9 shots per game on the road where their 35 shots against per game sits 30th league wide. That’s the start of some scary possession metrics for New York.
At 5v5 on the road, the Rangers sit 30th with a 45.53% Corsi For%, 30th with a 43.56% Scoring Chances For% and 26th with a 42.93% High-Danger Chances For%.
They’ve made things difficult on their goaltenders on the road to be sure, but Rangers’ netminders have combined for a 14th-ranked .920 Sv% on the road at 5v5 action this season.
Looking to keep up that strong work tonight will be rookie netminder Igor Shesterkin looking to get some experience in on the road.
Tonight will mark Shesterkin’s seventh start of the season, but his first career NHL road start as he’s been given strictly home starts to ease him into the league as the team’s goaltender of the future.
That said, he’s shown why he has that label as he’s posted a 2.34 GAA and .933 Sv% in those six home outings so far, going 5-1-0 in the process.
Those numbers are a continuation of the electric work he put in across three super-elite KHL seasons while he posted a 1.93 GAA and .934 Sv% in 25 outings in the AHL this season prior to his NHL promotion.
The Jets weren’t looking pretty in the Western Conference playoff picture as recently as last week, but three straight wins has them holding down the second Wild Card spot at the moment, but by just the slightest of margin thanks to a game in hand over the Coyotes who are tied with Winnipeg with 63 points.
Not only have the Jets won three in a row, but they’ve done so in rather convincing fashion.
After knocking off the defending Cup champion Blues by a 4-2 count in St. Louis, the Jets came back home and pumped both the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks by 5-2 scores on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. They outshout those two teams by a combined 70-53 count.
Those five-goal outputs normally wouldn’t be unusual for this Jets team on home ice, but they’ve struggled to score consistently at home this season.
Winnipeg ranks 24th with 2.79 goals per game at home this season and usually-dominant home power play has slipped to 14th with a decent but unspectacular 21.2% mark this season.
That power play was quite good over the weekend, however, going 4 for 10 in those two blowout wins.
Defensively, the Jets have been better than expected given their blueline was decimated by free agency in the offseason along with the unforeseen Dustin Byfuglien absence, but a lot of that has had to do with goaltending.
The Jets enter this one sitting tied for 14th with 2.86 goals against per game, although their penalty kill has struggled mightily at home with a 73.2% mark that has them sitting 30th in the league.
This despite some excellent work from Connor Hellebuyck who has put his name back in the Vezina Trophy conversation, right where it was two seasons ago before falling off a bit last season.
Hellebuyck will enter this one sporting a 2.67 GAA and .920 Sv% in 46 appearances on the season (44 starts) and has posted a similar 2.61 GAA and .918 Sv% at home in 25 starts and 23 appearances.
After a tough January in which he turned in a 3.29 GAA and .898 Sv%, Hellebuyck has put forth a stout 1.99 GAA and .942 Sv% across four February starts so far.
He’s allowed precisely two goals against in all four of those starts.
The Rangers have played pretty well of late and have surprised plenty of teams with their potent offense this season, but that offense is much better at home and they’ll take on perhaps the hottest goaltender in the league at the moment.
On the flip side, the Jets are riding a huge wave of confidence into this one. While desperation certainly doesn’t guarantee wins, this Winnipeg club is a full-blown dogfight for a playoff spot right now while the Rangers sit well back of a spot in the east as they continue forward with their eyes on the future.
In other words, this is one the Jets know they need to have, and after a pair of blowout wins I would imaging they are a confident bunch at the moment.
Shesterkin is a concern in the Rangers crease as it appears he has the ability to steal a game already in his young NHL career.
Still, white a hot offense, a hot power play and a super-hot goaltender going their way entering this one, I think we’re getting a good price on the hometown Jets and I’ll grab them on the moneyline in this one.