Friday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Preview
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Canucks vs. Jets Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Coach Bruce Boudreau has given the Canucks a spark as Vancouver has won both games since his arrival. They host a talented Jets team that will skate Thursday night in Seattle and has struggled to to just 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.
Will the Jets right the ship and take a step toward a playoff spot in the West in Vancouver? Let’s break it down below.
After a 2-0 start with a Vancouver roster still offering some notable holes, Boudreau is now 569-302-115 all-time as an NHL coach.
Although the team was likely due for some improvements under any hire ( dating back the last eight games the team has still posted a 51.48 xGF%), the energy and positivity around the team this week have been palpable.
On paper I still like a lot of what the team has to offer up-front. We should see some of the talented forwards like Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Vasily Podkolzin, and Nils Hoglander post better results under a coach who has routinely allowed forwards to maximize their potential.
However, the play out of the back end will be hard to hide since many of the Canucks’ struggles are products of them not having four capable top four defensemen.
I suspect under Boudreau we will see Jack Rathbone brought up from the AHL again, and I do feel he could be useful on the third pairing.
The Canucks’ shockingly awful penalty kill has been a big story so far this season as they have held a historically awful mark at 65.2%. If the Canucks can stabilize in that area under Boudreau, it would offer a tremendous boost to the club.
In a tiny two game sample size under Boudreau, the Canucks have killed five of six, with the only goal coming on a 5-on-3 Wednesday against Boston. Elias Pettersson and Vasily Podkolzin have both received PK time in the two games for the first time this season.
In goal Thatcher Demko continues to shine. His results have trended up the last two contests, and he now sits with a +3.5 Goals Saved Above Expected mark (GSAx), more in-line with what he has deserved all year, and a .915 Save %. Expect him to start tomorrow night.
Winnipeg is in a similar boat to Vancouver on a number of fronts. The Jets hold a very strong offensive group when in form, and if pieces like Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler can click, there’s potential.
That said, the defense corps is still notably weak compared to other top Western Conference teams as I remain unconvinced that the depth is there behind the top talents of Josh Morrissey and Neal Pionk.
The Jets have struggled defensively recently as their depth defenders haven’t been strong. Consequently, they have lost seven of nine and allowed a markedly high 2.73 xGA/60 over that span.
With their elite netminder in Connor Hellebuyck set to play Thursday against Seattle, the Jets will most likely go with backup Eric Comrie tomorrow night in Vancouver. Comrie has been solid in stopping .913% of shots faced with a +0.6 GSAx rating throughout six games played this season.
Jets vs. Canucks Pick
These teams are more comparable than most may believe, especially if Bruce Boudreau can get the most out of his star forwards like Pettersson and Boeser, who have notably underachieved this season.
The Canucks have clearly received a spark from the new hire and get the Jets in a favorable spot here with backup Comrie in the net on the second night of a back-to-back.
At close to pick-em (-118 on FanDuel), I think we certainly have enough value to look for Vancouver to keep it going as their offense breaks through with a good total here. Expect a higher-scoring contest than the opening games of Boudreau’s regime as I don’t hate a play on the over as well.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks Moneyline -118 (Play to -130)