Canucks vs. Jets Odds & Pick: Bettors Should Expect High-Scoring Affair in Winnipeg (March 2)
Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Pierre-Luc Dubois and Paul Stastny.
- After a low-scoring matchup on Monday night, the Canucks and Jets will face off again on Tuesday.
- Neither starting goaltender is expecting to start the second game in as many nights, which is one reason the total has value.
- Pete Truszkowski lays out why he's backing the over in this North Division clash.
Canucks vs. Jets Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday night and via DraftKings.|
Coming into the NHL season, many were excited for the all-Canadian North Division. It was a wide open division in terms of the standings, but it was also wide open in terms of the playing style of most of the teams in the division.
Through the first part of the regular season, that has held true. Five of the league’s top-six point producers are in the division. Of the 20 NHL players who have double-digit goal totals entering Monday night, nine play north of the border.
With offensively gifted but defensively challenged teams like the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, this was to be expected. However, the two biggest proponents of the “no defense allowed” mantra are the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.
What does that mean for Tuesday’s game between the two teams?
After an impressive run in the NHL bubble that included eliminating the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues, expectations were raised for the young Canucks coming into the season. Unfortunately, those expectations haven’t come close to getting met. The Canucks currently sit in sixth place in the North Division, ahead of just the Ottawa Senators.
The main reason for the Canucks’ struggles has been their inability to keep the puck out of their own net. Vancouver is giving up the third most goals per game of any team in the league. The underlying metrics paint a bleak picture, as Vancouver is giving up 2.66 expected goals, 29.6 scoring chances and 12.7 high-danger chances per hour at 5-on-5. These numbers are all second worst in the league.
Thatcher Demko got the start for Vancouver on Monday night, shutting out the Jets in the first game of this series. We might see him get the call again on Tuesday, but it’s more likely we see Braden Holtby due to the back-to-back games in back-to-back nights. Holtby came over to Vancouver in the offseason and has been awful in net. He has a -4.4 goals saved above expectation through his 10 appearances.
While the defense has been brutal and the goaltending has been subpar, Vancouver’s offense has also been somewhat disappointing. The Canucks’ attack ranks middle of the pack in terms of goals per game. The underlying metrics paint another picture, though, with Vancouver posting the second-highest expected goals per hour in the league.
With the talent of Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Quinn Hughes, it’s shocking to see the Canucks underperforming their metrics that much. If they continue to generate offense, the goal will come.
The Winnipeg Jets are doing that thing again.
Last season, despite having the worst underlying metrics in the league, the Jets were competitive and even qualified for the postseason tournament. This year, the Jets once again find themselves at the bottom of the league when it comes to the metrics but have a 13-7-1 record.
Usually to outperform your metrics, you need three things: high-end talent, good goaltending and good enough special teams. The Jets check all three of those boxes.
Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nikolaj Ehlers, Blake Wheeler and Paul Stastny give the Jets one of the most talented groups of six forwards in the league. They can generate offense out of nothing and don’t need many opportunities to make you pay. Despite getting shut out last night, the Jets are averaging 3.3 goals per game, which puts them within the top 10 of the NHL.
Between the pipes, Connor Hellebuyck is widely considered one of the best goalies in the league. He won the Vezina Trophy, given to the league’s best goalie, in 2020. He often bails out a team that spends a lot of time in their own zone.
However, Hellebuyck played in Monday’s game, so we shouldn’t expect to see him on Tuesday and Laurent Brossoit will likely get the start. Brossoit was spectacular in his first four appearances this season, but his career track record brings doubt to whether he can continue playing at this level.
The Jets will need good goaltending because their team defense is atrocious. Remember all those defensive metrics that the Canucks were ranked second-worst in the league? The mystery is over. Winnipeg was the one team worse than them. The Jets give up a lot of chances, and good ones at that.
Canucks vs. Jets Best Bet
These two teams are the two worst defensive teams in the league. Hellebuyck might do a good job of masking that for Winnipeg on a nightly basis, but he likely won’t play in Tuesday’s game.
These two teams played on Monday night, with the Canucks getting a 4-0 win. It’s an easy game to disregard however, as Hellebuyck had a rough night and the Canucks played in prevent mode all night after taking a 3-0 lead in the first period.
With all of the talent on the Jets roster, I don’t expect the Canucks to be able to shut them down for a second night in a row. When you add in the fact that there’s a good chance we see Holtby, I really don’t expect the Canucks to shut down the Jets again.
However, Vancouver should be able to generate enough of their own offense against the league’s worst defense on the other side. Just like the Jets, the Canucks have a long list of high-end talent that can burn you quickly. Brossoit has had a good start to the year for Winnipeg, but his resume is that of a below average backup goaltender.
Monday’s game might have been low-scoring, but I don’t expect that to carry over into Tuesday. I think these two teams will put up some goals and this game will go over the total.
Pick: Total Over 6.5 Goals