NHL Picks: Back Senators To Take Down Jets Once Again

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 4:57 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2016 4:57 PM UTC

Senators and Jets are just playing out the regular season as neither has been sniffing the Stanley Cup chase for months with their performance in the year. Let's check the NHL pick for the game.

Today they meet for the first time since Nov.5th, when they we still entertaining the idea of a successful campaign. Who has the edge and who should you be looking at for NHL picks? Let's examine both sides and determine an answer.


Ottawa Has to Play Better Defense on the Road
With Ottawa sporting a 14-23 SU road record, it is rather difficult to believe they actually began the season with 5-1 away mark. That is correct, which means they have lost 22 of 31 since in the traveling sweaters (9-19-3). The Senators problems are very simple to pinpoint, being the worst defensive team in the NHL away from home at 3.49 goals allowed. This is actually good compared to what they have done in their past 31 away outings, which has them at 3.77 goals surrendered.

Ottawa's defensive misgivings were on full display in their last game, which was at home Saturday. The Senators took a 3-0 lead into the third period against Los Angeles and give up three goals in 20 minutes and fell in OT to the Kings.

It was a familiar tale, the inability of the Ottawa defense to clear the puck, not working the corners strong enough and their netminder not providing the last line of defense. If the Sens expect to win this evening, their 28th ranked defense will have do their job and not dig a hole the offense has no chance to climb out of.


Winnipeg Has to Generate Offense
With Ottawa on a three-game skid and losers of seven of 10, the Jets have not been regularly flying into victory lane, falling in eight of their last dozen contests. Turns out the Winnipeg defense is not significantly better than the Senators, listed 24th, conceding 2.89 goals a game compared to the Sens at 3.00.

Winnipeg's downfall is not only on defense, but offensively at the same time. The Jets are 23rd in scoring at 2.53 GAG and they have been even worse in their past 12 contests, down to only 2.16 GAG. One of largest problems is inability to take advantage of special teams situations, which could really be on display at the MTS Centre. Don't forget to check the betting lines, visit our page.

Winnipeg has the worst power play in the league, converting on just 14.3 percent of chances, which is dreadful 34 goals out of 238 opportunities. If the Jets were finally able to bust loose, they would no better opponent to face since the Ottawa in dead last in penalty killing at 74.6 percent. It could hardly be a better scenario for Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele to take full advantage of, but they as a group have to pass the puck around more quickly and attack the net with more purpose, something which is not done enough, clearly.


What to Expect and Winner
The NHL odds boards have Winnipeg as -125 home favorite with a total 5.5. (See our totals pick in NHL picks article here) Ottawa has a modestly better record because they have the better offensive club, tied for seventh at 2.78 GAG. The Senators have won all five times they have played in Winnipeg since they moved from Atlanta after the 2010-11 season.

Ottawa also brings a few other advantages, like being 23-11 against horrible power play killing teams, who permit 19 percent or more of chances in the second half of the year the last two seasons and they are 12-3 after three or more consecutive setbacks. Also, have to consider the Jets have lost 15 of their past 21 home games, which leads me to take the underdog Senators to win the game.

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Free NHL Pick: Ottawa Senators +110
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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