Winnipeg Jets (5-7) @ Colorado Avalanche (9-1)
According the NHL betting odds Colorado is a huge -230 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Winnipeg has defeated Colorado in 5 of their last 6 meetings. In addition the Jets have won 5 of the last 7 played in Colorado.
Tough Road Ahead Tonight
The Winnipeg Jets will be playing their 3rd road game in the last 4 nights. This will be the 3rd game of a 4-game road trip which concludes on Tuesday night in St. Louis. The trip started with a 3-2 overtime loss to Nashville. The Jets tied the game with just 3:01 left to play in the 3rd period, then subsequently allowed the Predators to score the game winner with just 0:17 left in overtime. Last night the Jets earned a hard fought 2-1 overtime shootout win versus Dallas. This will be the Jets 4th game in the last 6-days, and the first 3 have all required extra time to produce a winner. Winnipeg will rest #1 goaltender Ondrej Pavelec tonight and insert backup Al Montoya between the pipes. Montoya will be making just his 2nd start of the season. The Jets are hoping that Montoya can duplicate his season debut in which he stopped all 24 shots in a 3-0 win over New Jersey.
Convert Your Opportunities
Winnipeg is just 22nd in the NHL averaging a mere 2.3 goals per game. However, it’s not because of a lack of effort offensively. The Jets are 4th in the NHL averaging 33.1 shots on goal per game. The power play has left a lot to be desired converting just 11.4% of their opportunities which ranks 26th in the NHL.
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Savior of a Head Coach
You couldn’t have scripted a better beginning to the start of the NHL head coaching career of Patrick Roy. His team has bolted out of the gate to start the season at 9-1 including going an impressive 5-0 record on the road. The Avalanche has won their last 3-games the last of which came on Friday night in a 4-2 home win over Carolina. Ironically a team that’s coached by a Hall of Fame goaltender is currently the best in the NHL allowing a paltry 1.4 goals per game. The offense hasn’t been anything to sneeze at as well averaging 3.2 goals per game, and they possess the league’s 9th best power play converting on 22.9% of their chances. Semyon Varlamov has been magnificent in goal to start the season going 6-1 with a 1.73 GAA, and an excellent .948 save percentage. At the time of this writing Varlamov is scheduled to be in goal tonight versus Winnipeg.
Despite playing their backup tonight the Jets Al Montoya is very capable in goal. Winnipeg’s goal scoring struggles don’t figure to get better tonight versus one the stingiest teams defensively in the NHL right now. The Jets are fully capable of winning the territorial battle versus an opponent that allows an average of 33.4 shots on goal against. Converting those chances versus Varlamov will be another story. Winnipeg has seen just 2 of their last 10-games go over the total. Colorado has seen just 5 of their last 19-games go over the total versus a Western Conference opponent. My NHL pick in this game is toward a low scoring affair this evening.
Free Pick: Winnipeg/Colorado under the total of 5.5.