The NHL is set up with a smaller night of action on Friday night. Four games are up on the board in total for February 14. One of these matchups will be between the San Jose Sharks and the Winnipeg Jets. These two teams have had their ups and downs this season, but will look to get a big win in this one. This game will start at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on Friday night.
San Jose has started this season out with a record of 24-28-4, which has them sitting seventh place of the Pacific Division. The Sharks are only two points behind the Anaheim Ducks, who are in sixth in the Pacific, but San Jose is twelve points out of the final wild card spot. The Sharks are coming off a loss in their last one and will look to bounce back with a big win on Friday night.
The Jets have earned a record of 29-24-5 to this point in the season. Winnipeg is currently sitting in fourth place of the Central Division. The Jets are six points behind the Dallas Stars, who are in third place of the Central. Winnipeg is only one point out of the final wild card spot. The Jets lost their last game, which ended a small three game winning streak. This should lead to an exciting on Friday night.
These two teams are out of the playoff standings right now, but could make a push. The Jets are right in the playoff race, while San Jose needs some help and a big winning streak to get back into it. I expect both teams to try and come out fast in this one to earn a big win. Winnipeg and San Jose are coming off losses in their last games, which should help motivate them on Friday night.
The Sharks and the Jet met up for the first time this season in San Jose on November 1. These two teams had a back and forth game. Barclay Goodrow and Tomas Hertl both scored for the Sharks to keep the game at 2-2 late in the third. Kyle Connor had two assists for the Jets, while Nikolaj Ehlers finished the Sharks off with a goal late. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 51 of the 53 shots he faced in a 3-2 win for Winnipeg.
The second game of the season series stayed in San Jose on November 27. This time around though, it was not as close. Melker Karlsson opened up the scoring for the Sharks, but that was all San Jose could muster up. Patrik Laine had a goal and two assists, while Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler both had two points to help give the Jets a nice 5-1 win.
The Jets have been able to dominate the first two games of the season series. San Jose was able to win the season series 2-1 last season, but that was when the Sharks were a playoff team. San Jose has dropped this season and will look to avoid the season sweep against Winnipeg. I believe that the Sharks have a good chance to pull off the upset on the road though.
San Jose’s power play has not been great to this point in the season so far. The Sharks have capitalized on 25 of their 149 chances, which is a 16.8 percent power play percentage. San Jose’s penalty kill has had a strong season though. The Sharks have only allowed their opponents to score on 26 of their 181 opportunities, which is an 85.6 percent kill rate.
The Jets special teams have not been great this season. Winnipeg’s power play has been able to score on 34 of their 176 attempts, which is a 19.3 percent success rate. The Jets penalty kill has been even worse. Winnipeg has allowed opposing teams to capitalize on 37 of their 147 chances, which is a 74.8 percent penalty kill percentage.
These two teams have struggled throughout the season on the power play, but the Jets have a better power play percentage. San Jose has a much better penalty kill though. I do not expect either team to break through on the power play in this game, but if either team can get one with the man advantage, it could be the deciding factor.
I expect Aaron Dell to get the nod in the crease for San Jose on Friday night. Dell has put up a record of 11-11-2 throughout 24 starts this season. In those 24 starts, Dell has earned a save percentage of .909 and a 2.88 GAA. Dell’s last start came against the Calgary Flames, where he stopped 31 of the 37 shots he faced in a tough loss.
Connor Hellebuyck will likely get the start in net for the Jets in this matchup. Hellebuyck has posted a record of 24-17-5 throughout this season. Hellebuyck has put up a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.71 this season. Hellebuyck’s last start came against the New York Rangers, where he turned away 28 of the 32 shots he faced in a losing effort.
These two goalies have been solid for their respective teams. Hellebuyck has earned the better stats this season, but looking at Dell’s stats and the Sharks record makes it just as impressive. Both goalies are coming off tough starts in their last outing and will look to bounce back in a big way to help give their clubs a big win.
The Jets were able to take the first two games of the season series against San Jose, but I believe that the Sharks have a good chance to avoid the sweep on Friday night. I do not expect special teams to play a big role in this game, but if either team breaks through, I think it will be San Jose. If Dell can bounce back after allowing six goals in his last game, the Sharks will be able to win this one.
BetOnline has Winnipeg listed as a -140 against the money line in this game. This implies that the Jets will win this game around 58.3 percent of the time. Winnipeg is at home in this one, which makes sense, but I think that San Jose can still win it. The Jets have been inconsistent as of late and if the Sharks can strike early, I think they will pull off the upset.