Canucks vs. Jets Odds & Picks: Back Winnipeg in Tight Game With Vancouver
Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.
- The Vancouver Canucks take on the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday in a North Division battle.
- Matt Russell tells us why he backs Winnipeg to earn the victory below.
Canucks vs. Jets Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
The Ottawa Senators are the NHL’s funhouse mirror. Actually, that’s not fair to the players or the coaching staff.
Their goaltenders are actually that funhouse mirror. Starter Matt Murray sits with a league-worst GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average) of -8.28 through just six starts. Right there with him is backup Marcus Hogberg at -2.91 GSAA in just two starts.
Have a great scoring chance? Don’t worry, they won’t stop you. Have no real designs on scoring with this shot from the perimeter? Don’t worry, there’s a chance it goes in or a rebound is coming to a teammate.
Botton line, Ottawa’s goaltenders will drastically distort how you look. Like a funhouse mirror, they make you look good.
The Canucks take to the road for the first time in well over a week. They had the luxury of a pair of three-game sets at home.
In the first set against Montreal, Vancouver took advantage of variance to get a win against the team that’s the class of the North Division, according to my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model. The Canucks then pulled off a sweep of the Senators, even though the first two games were toss-ups.
The three games against Ottawa sky-rocketed Vancouver’s ratings, thanks to an unsustainable High-Danger Chance (HDC) conversion rate 5-on-5 of 31.4 percent. They were worse than 20% below average going into the first game with Ottawa, then came out of the last contest nearing league average.
That makes total sense, considering playing Montreal three times will make you look bad and playing Ottawa three times will right those wrongs.
The Jets’ rating has benefitted from three games against the Senators as well, but Ottawa’s goaltending was slightly less cordial to Winnipeg. The Jets haven’t played Montreal, but have victories over Calgary and Edmonton in the early part of their season.
Winnipeg also comes into this game well-rested, as the odd-team out the last few days due to the North Division’s unbalanced schedule.
While the first games for goaltender Connor Hellebuyck haven’t been easy, he’s a considerably tougher challenge to beat than what the Canucks have become comfortably accustomed to so far. Hellebuyck is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, but this season he’s been just average with a 0.13 GSAA.
On offense, the Jets have created more HDC in their last three games than they did in their first four games combined. This could be due to loosely played games from the Jets, as the three contests were played in four nights.
The Senators’ goaltending has taken a beating in this preview, but the Canucks’ goaltending hasn’t been much better. Like the team as a whole, its results against Ottawa have helped its underlying numbers. These numbers go into what shapes the price that the sportsbooks are willing to offer.
As such, the moneyline price won’t be far off the true moneyline. However, this is one of those situations where you have to acknowledge what recent results have done to shape projections, as an increased percentage of the Canucks’ results have come against a struggling Senators’ outfit.
With a more discerning eye, I’ll be looking to back Winnipeg here at anything inside of -120, hoping Vancouver looks in the mirror and sees what’s really there and not the distorted image of they saw before its trip east.
Pick: Jets (-120 or better)