NHL Hockey Betting: Winnipeg Jets at Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Hockey Betting:  Winnipeg Jets at Carolina Hurricanes&h=235&w=320&zc=1

These are tough times for the Winnipeg Jets. The team entered the season with lofty ambitions–or at least hopes of a return to the playoffs–despite playing in hockey’s toughest division. Instead, they’ve sunk like a stone in hockey’s toughest division. They enter play tonight dead last in the Central Division five points back of the Minnesota Wild for sixth place. The Wild just fired their head coach and yet they’re five points ahead of the bumbling Jets. At 25-27-3 they’re just treading water but they still have a bit of hope–they’re just nine points back of the final Western Conference wildcard spot.

The Jets’ struggles aren’t entirely their fault as they’ve been without starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec for awhile now. Pavelec missed the last 33 games but looked decent in a 2-1 shootout win over Edmonton on Saturday night. Backup Michael Hutchinson gets another shot as well–he rode the pine during much of Pavelec’s absence in favor of rookie phenom Connor Hellebuyck. Hellebuyck is back down with the Manitoba Moose though the 21 year old is considered the team’s goalie of the future. His numbers are better than either of the Jets’ other two goalies but due to their waiver status it was much easier to reassign Hellebuyck.

Carolina has quietly become a competent hockey team especially at home where they’re 13-9-6 on the season. They’re coming off a lopsided win over the New York Islanders but will be without Cam Ward in net. Ward has a lower body injury and will miss tonight’s game though it doesn’t appear to be too serious. Former Vancouver backup Eddie Lack will get the start instead. Carolina won 5-3 at Winnipeg on February 5 but the Jets are just 4-5 in home loss revenge situations. Overall, the situation in Carolina looks much more favorable than the morass in Winnipeg. Paul Maurice might not be on the hot seat yet but there don’t appear to be any easy answers for turning around the moribund Jets. Typically, we look to play ‘West over East’ in matchups like this but just don’t have any confidence with Winnipeg and we’ll back the home team instead.


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