NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at Winnipeg Jets

NHL Hockey Betting:  San Jose Sharks at Winnipeg Jets&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames last night and they’ll try to make it three straight as they head to Winnipeg to take on the perplexing Jets. Sure, the Jets play in the downright brutal Central Division but the reality is that they’ve underachieved badly this season. A team that wants to win with defense simply can’t rank #24 in goals against per game (2.83). Their offense has been more potent than in recent years–they’re tied for #11 in goals for per game but 2.64 goals per game doesn’t get it done with their porous defense. With the exception of that #11 goals per game the Jets are a statistical mess–#24 goals against, #29 on the power play and #26 on the penalty kill. Winnipeg is coming off a very embarrassing loss as they dropped a 4-2 verdict to the Buffalo Sabres in Evander Kane’s return. One ‘silver lining’ for the Jets who are without starting goalie Ondrej Pavalec–the emergence of rookie Connor Hellebuyck who is 9-5-1 with a 1.93 goals against average to start his NHL career.

The Sharks have also struggled with their defense and goaltending. They acquired LA Kings backup Martin Jones in the off season and although he’s been very good at times he’s been extremely inconsistent. Backup Alex Stalock gets the start tonight and he’s been extremely underwhelming with a 2-5-0 record, a 2.97 goals against average and a 0.893 save percentage. It’s easy to write off his struggles as a by-product of playing in back to back spots but the Sharks are 3-4 in that situation–not great, but not terrible either.

The Jets have had the edge over the Sharks in recent years. They’re 4-3-0 in the last seven meetings overall and 2-1-0 in the last three in Winnipeg. They’ve been pretty good at the MTS Centre all year (11-6-1) but San Jose is doing that schizophrenic ‘good on the road/bad at home’ thing. The Sharks are 6-12-0 at home but 14-6-2 on the road. These teams played a week or so ago with Winnipeg beating San Jose 4-1 in NorCal. Power ratings suggest a toss up which makes the price on the Jets a bit high. We’ll bet this one accordingly.


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