Increase in Hawks-Jets Total Works to Our Advantage

Dana Lane

Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:02 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 6:02 PM UTC

The Winnipeg Jets a scorching 10-0-1 in their last 11 games at the Bell MTS Place and look to extend that streak Thursday against the Blackhawks, who are starting to make some noise in the Central.

Free NHL Pick: Under 6Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets

The Nashville Predators gave my followers an easy winner with their 7-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. It was a game that this column needed to win after dropping a couple games prior. Back on the saddle we are as we ride into Winnipeg to put down action on tonight’s Blackhawks-Jets match-up.

What more can be said about the Jets? They’re 18-8-5 on the year and haven't dropped a home game in regulation in almost two months. The last time the Jets were beaten cleanly at home was against Columbus on Oct.17. In fact, they’ve only have lost twice in regulation at home all season. As good as the Jets have been, we can’t just forget that they dropped three straight games last week, scoring just 8 goals, a number over the season that would put them in the bottom third in scoring. My only concern with the Jets is the amount of rubber they put on opposing goaltenders. Ranked 26th with just 29.83 shots per game, Winnipeg still manages to be one league’s premiere offensive teams (4th , 3.41) so quality or quantity with Paul Maurice’s team.

I read a report where this game could be defined as a changing of the guard; if true, that means a tough defensive battle because the Jets want what the Blackhawks have and Chicago isn’t ready for the dirtnap yet. I anticipate both teams will be focused on imposing their will on the other. If that happens, then offense will become secondary. The ability of a team’s power play goes a long way in determining whether I go OVER or UNDER a total. Right now the Blackhawks with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Artem Anisimov, can seem to find chemistry to make them an easy OVER play.

Unfortunately, that talented group is finding success just better than 15% of the time with the man advantage. Only Buffalo and Columbus are worse. Yes, I know, the Jets are scoring on 26% of their man-advantage chances, but I’m counting on that number to be diluted a bit against the Blackhawks, who are solid on the penalty kill. I’m on my way to grab the UNDER in a game that may be like watching the Jets grow into adulthood.

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