Winnipeg Jets, NHL Picks: Playoff Push

The Winnipeg Jets host the Ottawa Senators Wednesday and it’s a tough spot for the Sens, coming off a shootout loss in Minnesota

The Sens played a great trip out to the west coast and then fought off the Minnesota Wild for a single point in a shootout Tuesday. Right about now, they are waiting at the Minneapolis (or St. Paul’s) airport, flying the short haul into Peg and going through customs. It’s a tough spot for the team against a Winnipeg club who have been sitting at home for a week, going 2-0-1 against the Stars, Blues and Kings.

The Jets have hosted nine teams this year off the Wild and they have earned a point in every single one of those games (6-0-3). Winnipeg has scored three goals or more in seven of nine and they’re going to face Craig Anderson in his first game back from a six-week injury. Anderson is 11-2-3 lifetime against the “Jets” but nearly half those wins were actually vs. Atlanta. Four trips to the Peg he’s given up 3-1-4-4 goals. Ottawa still won those four games but this is a different Jets team and I doubt the Sens were in as tough a situation as they are here.

I’m concerned about Winnipeg starting Ondrej Pavelec but it seems like Hutchinson has become “the man”. Winnipeg has four road games on-deck and I’m sure if Maurice really wanted to get Pavvy a start, they could find a spot for him there. My only other concern is that when teams sit around at home for a few games like this, they can sometimes get fat and lazy. The Jets are 1-2-1 at home for their third (or more) consecutive home game this year but 11-6-4 in this spot the past four years. When the opponent was on zero rest, the Jets are 4-1-1 in the latter stages of a home stand.

Team totals for Winnipeg will likely open in the ballpark of 2.5 OVER (-140) and that’s worth a look but if Anderson and Hutchinson are confirmed, the price on the home side will likely see an increase. I’m booking this one tonight and gambling that Hutch gets the call.

Pick: Take the Jets in regulation at even money


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