National Hockey League action on Saturday afternoon and the Central Division will square off with the Central Division as the Arizona Coyotes grapple with the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Coyotes enter this game off a 4-1 road win over the Blackhawks, while the Jets are off a 4-1 home win over the Canucks. The Jets took all three meetings between these teams last year.
Coyotes Finally Find Some Offense
The Arizona Coyotes had the fewest points in the Western Conference last year and the 3rd fewest in the league. Things did not get off to a good start for them this year as they went 1-4 in their first five games and were blanked in three of their first four. The offense has been abysmal for the Coyotes in the early going, but they finally found some in their 4-1 road win over the Blackhawks on Thursday night. Arizona had scored a total of three goals through their first five games. Vinnie Hinostroza led the attack by notching his first two goals on the year, while also scoring was Lawson Crouse, which was his 1st of the year and Clayton Keller, which was his 1st of the season as well.
"I think the guys wanted to win this one for Nik for sure."
Coach Tocchet sounds off on tonight's W: pic.twitter.com/F4xDjopurp
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 19, 2018
Arizona is still ranked last in the league in scoring, putting up 1.17 gpg and that is despite the fact that they are 4th in the league in shots per game at 34.8. Arizona is 25th in the league in power play conversions at 13.3%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are tied for 2nd in goals allowed at 2.00 gpg, while also ranking 3rd in shots allowed at 25.8 spg and 2nd in penalty kill at 92.9%. Antti Raanta had a solid outing against the Blackhawks as he allowed one goal on 33 shot attempts to move to 2-3 with a 1.98 GAA and a .921 save percentage on the year, including 2-1 with a 1.95 GAA and a .929 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 36-26 with a 2.49 GAA and a .915 save percentage on the road and 1-3 with a 2.94 GAA and a .860 GAA against the Jets.
Jets Cool Off Hot Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks came into the Bell MTS Centre on Thursday night riding a three-game win streak with all three wins coming as huge dogs. Well, the Jets put an end to that streak with a 4-1 win. Winnipeg needed the win after taking a tough 5-4 OT loss to the Oilers at home in their previous game. Winnipeg continued its pattern of win-one-lose-one and are now at 4-3 on the year. They will look to break that pattern by winning two in a row for the first time this year. Scoring in the win over the Canucks was Patrik Laine, which was his 3rd of the year, Bryan Little, which was his 2nd, Andrew Copp, which was his 1st and Dustin Byfuglien, which was his 1st.
🎥 Paul Maurice on last night’s gameplay, facing off against the Coyotes tomorrow afternoon, and more. pic.twitter.com/TDbFEHuOMI
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 19, 2018
Connor Hellebuyck had a strong outing as he allowed the one goal on 27 shot attempts to improve to 3-3 with a 2.66 GAA and a.914 save percentage on the year, including 2-1 with a 2.32 GAA and a .911 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 55-27 with a 2.50 GAA and a .917 save percentage in his home games, and 4-1 with a 2.73 GAA and a .902 save percentage against the Coyotes. The Jets check in at 223rd in the league in scoring, putting up 2.71 gpg and 5th in power play conversions at 35.3%. On defense, they are 7th in goals allowed at 2.43 gpg and 14th in penalty kill at 80.8%.
- 7-0 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- 46-14 in their last 60 home games
- 25-75 in their last 100 vs. the Central
- 18-43 in their last 61 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Jets just won an easy one at home against the Canucks, and I will look for them to grab an easy win in this one as well. The Jets have yet to win back-to-back games as they have been inconsistent, but they are taking on one of the worst teams in the league. Winnipeg has a massive edge on offense, and the Coyotes won’t be able to hang up enough goals to keep this one close. The clincher is the fact that the Coyotes are 0-9 their last nine games here in Winnipeg.
Prediction: Winnipeg -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I love the Under here, The Jets will get their goals, but they won’t go hog wild as Antti Raanta has been very solid in the early going with a 1.98 GAA so far. The Coyotes have the worst offense in the league, and the Jets do not allow many goals at home. The Under is 12-3-1 in Winnipeg’s last 16 home games and 52-19-6 in Arizona’s last 77 when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game. That seals the deal for me.
Prediction: Under 5.5
Half-Time Side Pick
The Jets are clearly the better team here and while the Coyotes will fight hard, it won’t be enough to ground the Jets. Winnipeg will come out hot and Arizona just won’t be able to match the early intensity. Look for the Jets to fly over the Coyotes at the start of this one.
Prediction: Winnipeg -0.5 (+140) First Period
Half-Time Total Bet
I like the Under for the Game, but I see the Over cashing in the first period of this one. All the scoring will be don by the Jets as they take a 2-0 lead into the 2nd period.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (First Period)