The Winnipeg Jets have quietly been of the best teams in the NHL since the middle of February as they have won five of their last seven games. On Tuesday, they’ll find themselves as a small road favorite according to the NHL odds makers as they make a visit to Florida.
Record: 66-78 (-938)
The Winnipeg Jets can win because…
They’ve been playing very well right now. Yes, they are coming off a 3-0 home loss to the Washington Capitals but it’s safe to say fatigue got to them. Before that, the Jets had played in six different cities in 10 days.
That loss aside, the Jets have won five of six. They should have a good chance to beat a Panthers team that has registered just six wins all season long.
Florida is the walking wounded these days. Jose Theodore, Kris Versteeg and Ed Jovanovski are out. As are a slew of other cast members. As long as the Jets don’t show up half asleep, they’ll win this game.
The Florida Panthers can win because…
The Panthers already pumped Winnipeg 6-3 once this season in their other visit to Florida. As bad as the Panthers have been, the Jets are just an inconsistent group and you never know what you’ll get from them. Case and point: their most recent, inexplicable 3-0 home shutout loss to Washington. The Jets entered that game with wins in five of six and should have taken care of business against a Washington team that was tied for a league-low two road wins. Instead, the Jets were lazier than a Sunday and croaked. In case you were keeping track, the Capitals had fewer points than Florida prior to that win.
That’s the problem with Winnipeg. They are tough to trust as a favorite.
Outlook & Pick
Few people have noticed but the Panthers have actually sunk to last in the Eastern Conference. They have lost five of six and nine of 11. They don’t even have a strong home-ice advantage as their three home wins are tied for the fewest in the NHL. Add the Jets to your sports picks in this spot as they are the better team and the price is right.NHL Pick: Jets -104 at Pinnacle