NHL Hockey Betting: Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Winnipeg Jets managed to scrap their way into the playoffs this season, the fifth of five Canadian teams that will be playing for the Stanley Cup. They face a tough challenge in the first round as they head to Southern California to take on the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks ‘won’ the Western Conference title but finished tied with the St. Louis Blues at 109 points getting the nod on a tiebreaker. The Jets finished with ten fewer points in fifth place in the brutal Central Division behind Nashville, St. Louis, Minnesota and Chicago.

Looking at the statistics it’s hard to figure the Anaheim Ducks as a playoff team, let alone the Western Conference champions. They weren’t in the top ten in any of the major statistical categories during the regular season. They were 11th in goals for, 20th in goals against, 28th on the power play and 15th on the penalty kill. They finished with the third best record in hockey. The two teams that finished above them had at least two top ten performances–Montreal ranks top ten in two categories while the Rangers are top ten in three. The St. Louis Blues, who also had 109 points on the season are top ten in all four major categories and top five in three of them. For this reason it’s hard to ‘buy in’ to the Ducks. Maybe they’ve just been ‘lucky ducks’ this season?

Winnipeg is statistically better than Anaheim in three of the four categories including #10 in goals against per game. The team really came together when Evander Kane was sent packing and the city of Winnipeg is incredibly excited for playoff hockey. Tickets to the two home games that are definite for this series (#3 and #4) sold out in five minutes. It’s easy to just pull the trigger on the Ducks due to their superior regular season performance but it’s tough to get past that mediocre statistical profile. The Ducks did win all three of the games this season but only one was in regulation with an overtime and a shootout victory in the mix. We’ll take the value on Winnipeg.


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