The NHL opens up a new week of hockey with nine games on Monday night. One of those games will be a battle between a pair of Western Conference Canadian teams. The Winnipeg Jets will visit the Vancouver Canucks on November 19 to close out the slate of games on Monday nights.
The Winnipeg Jets have started out the new season with a record of 11-5-2. Winnipeg is currently sitting in third place of the Central Division. The Jets are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Winnipeg was on a three-game winning streak before the loss. The Jets have not lost back to back games yet this season.
Vancouver has gone 10-10-2 to begin the new season. The Canucks are in third place of the Pacific Division. Vancouver has lost five straight games and six of their last seven. The Canucks need to end this losing streak before they fall out of the playoff picture in the standings. Vancouver has been led by their younger players, which usually leads to quite a bit of inconsistency.
Winnipeg and Vancouver have met once before their meeting on Monday night. The Jets and Canucks will meet one more time on December 22. Vancouver needs to turn around this losing streak as soon as possible, while the Jets will look to take advantage of the Canucks struggles with a road win.
The Jets and Canucks met a total of three times last season. Vancouver hosted the first game of the season series. Bryan Little finished with two points for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck turned away 30 of 32 shots. Winnipeg was able to pull away with a 4-2 win on the road.
Winnipeg hosted the second game of the season series last season. Brock Boeser scored the only goal for the Canucks. Mathieu Perreault had two goals and an assist in route to the Jets win. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 of 26 shots as the Jets pulled away with a 5-1 victory.
The third and final matchup of last season stayed in Winnipeg. Patrik Laine scored the only goal of the game halfway through the first period. Anders Nilsson stopped 35 of 36 shots for the Canucks, but he had little offense to help him get the win. Connor Hellebuyck had a 29 save shutout. The Jets pulled off the 1-0.
Winnipeg hosted the first game of this season. The Jets were led by Dustin Byfuglien who scored once and added two assists. Nikolaj Ehlers and Bryan Little each had two points in route to Winnipeg’s win. Connor Hellebuyck had 26 saves on 27 shots. The Jets were able to take the home win 4-1.
The Jets have won the last six games against the Canucks. Vancouver will look to turn around both their current losing streak and their losing streak against Winnipeg. With the game being in Vancouver, I believe the Canucks have a good chance to pull off the win.
The Winnipeg Jets have been great on both sides of special teams. The Jets have the NHL’s best power play to begin the season. Winnipeg has scored on 33 percent of their power play opportunities. The Jets penalty kill is around the league average, stopping their opponent’s 81 percent of the time.
Vancouver has struggled on special teams to begin the new season. The Canucks have scored on 19 percent of their power play chances. Vancouver’s penalty kill has stopped 78 percent of their opponent’s power play chances.
The Canucks will need to avoid taking any penalties to avoid getting beat by the Jets power play. Winnipeg has a pretty big advantage in the special team’s category. Vancouver will need to play better on their own power play chances if they want to pull off the win on Monday night.
I expect Connor Hellebuyck to start in net for Winnipeg on Monday night. Hellebuyck has gone 8-5-1 in his starts this season. He has a save percentage of .915 and a 2.72 GAA this season. Hellebuyck has played in all four games against the Canucks over the last two seasons. He has been really solid against Vancouver and will look to get another win against them on Monday night.
Jacob Markstrom is expected to start for the Jets on Monday night. Markstrom has posted a .897 save percentage and a GAA of 3.27 in his starts this season. He has posted a record of 7-6-2 in his fifteen starts. The Canucks are missing Thatcher Demko and Anders Nilsson in the goaltender spot, so Markstrom will need to elevate his play if he wants to keep the Canucks near the top of the standings.
I believe that the Canucks have a chance to finally take a game against the Jets. Vancouver is on a losing streak and I believe they can turn it around. Their young guys will need to step up and avoid taking any stupid penalties. Winnipeg has done really good this season, but I believe they could be upset on the road on Monday night.
BetOnline has the Jets listed at a money line of -160, which implies that they will win this game 62 percent of the time. Vancouver has hit a rough patch, but have overall been a pretty solid team this season. I believe the Canucks deserve a little bit more respect. This losing streak is bound to end sometime, and I believe that this home game feels like the end. I am taking Vancouver at home.