NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Canadiens vs. Jets (March 1)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Lowry #17 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates with Nate Schmidt #88
- The Winnipeg Jets host the Montreal Canadiens in what they hope will be a revenge game for last season’s playoff series.
- The Canadiens are flouring under their new head coach, but is it enough to overtake the Jets at home?
- Our analyst breaks down this matchup, plus his prediction and pick, below.
Canadiens vs. Jets Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Montreal Canadiens are finally starting to play their own brand of hockey under new head coach Martin St. Louis, winning five games in a row.
The Winnipeg Jets, meanwhile, ended their four-game losing streak on Sunday after they beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-3 on the road. Who will prevail in Winnipeg?
Montreal Canadiens Are Heating Up
It might be too late for the Canadiens to make the playoffs, but it is so good to see them find some success under their new head coach and long-time NHL legend, Martin St. Louis.
During the five-game win streak, Montreal has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 16-7. Cole Caufield has been the story of this exciting run. In his first 30 games of the season, Caufield only had one goal and seven assists. In eight games under St. Louis, Caufield has six goals and four assists. His production has skyrocketed and he has a new-found confidence under the Habs new bench boss.
The Montreal goaltenders have also looked excellent during this stretch as Sam Montembeault and Andrew Hammond have split time in the blue paint. Hammond got the start in the team’s last game against the Ottawa Senators, stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced and leading the Habs to a 2-1 victory. Hammond hasn’t made many appearances this season, but in his two starts he is 2-0 with a .949 save percentage and a 1.44 goals against average — the “Hamburgler” appears to be back.
Montembeault got a shutout in his last start on Wednesday at home against the Sabres where he stopped all of the 32 shots that he faced. He has not been very impressive this season as he has a record of 5-10-4 with a .902 save percentage and a -5.6 Goals Saved Above Expected.
A starting goaltender has not been announced as of yet, but my guess is that Hammond will get the nod here.
Winnipeg Jets Must Beat Up On Bad Teams
The Winnipeg Jets aren’t out of the playoff picture just yet, but they need to do everything in their power to bring a high intensity every single night. I don’t like to throw the term “must win” around often, but if the Jets want to think about making a playoff push, they can’t lose to the second-worst team in the league on home ice in March.
The Jets are coming off of a solid effort in Arizona — it wasn’t their best game, but they found a way to win a close contest after allowing six unanswered goals to surrender a 3-0 lead the game before in Colorado. The Jets outshot the Coyotes 37-29 and their leading scorer, Kyle Connor stepped up by scoring two goals that were his 31st and 32nd of the campaign. Winnipeg’s offense had been struggling, so it was good to see them find some success.
Montreal doesn’t have too many offensive weapons, but Winnipeg needs to do a better job at limiting its opponents’ chances. The Jets currently rank 28th in high-danger chances against, allowing 12.55 per 60 minutes. The Jets are also allowing 32.3 shots on goal against, in which they rank 23rd.
Eric Comrie started for the Jets last game, but it is likely that the Jets will go back with Connor Hellebuyck for this one.
Canadiens vs. Jets Pick
It is time for the Winnipeg Jets to play some desperation hockey. They are six points out of a wild-card spot and they have the roster to make a push. This will be the first time these two teams meet this season after the Jets collapsed in their playoff series against the Candiens last year. That series left a bad taste in the mouths of the Jets players and they will certainly be out for revenge in this one.
Even though Montreal is on a hot streak, this team has been horrible on the road all season, with a 5-16-6 record when not on home ice. Winnipeg is 13-10-1 at home and has won three out of its last five on home ice. The Jets should feel good after getting back in the win column and it will be great to play at home for the first time in two weeks. I’m feeling a strong, full 60-minute effort from Winnipeg.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets -1.5