Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets
Rich Lam/Getty Images. Pictured: Thatcher Demko
- The Winnipeg Jets go up against the Vancouver Canucks in Friday's all-Canadian NHL matchup.
- Oddsmakers can't find an overwhelming favorite in this spot, with this clash pretty much a Pick'em game.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the meeting below and gives his top pick.
Canucks vs. Jets Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Having lost 9 of their 11 contests the Vancouver Canucks will be a desperate hockey team when they take on the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. Winnipeg is plenty talented and fighting for the top spot in the Central Division, but is an underdog on Friday night due to a tough scheduling spot with the Jets coming off a shootout loss to Edmonton on Thursday night.
The loss to Edmonton moved the Jets’ record to 7-1-3 over its last 11 games.
It’s become a comedy of errors this season for the Vancouver Canucks, who went as somewhat as a bounce-back candidate this season to some (myself included), but have quickly shown that last year’s flaws were no fluke.
The Canucks are also struggling to overcome pedestrian play from a couple of key players, most notably Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.
The team’s struggles found a new wrinkle in Tuesday’s loss to the Avalanche, as a notably frustrated Quinn Hughes took a very undisciplined penalty midway through the third, leading to a game-winning power-play goal for Colorado, ruining a very respectable effort altogether when considering the competition.
Even though the defense is quite flawed and the offense has yet to get going, it’s hard to believe the Canucks are simply this awful in a league — and sport — which lends itself to extreme levels of parity.
Over the last eight games the Canucks have still posted a respectable 51.45% expected goals rate, and even though their sloppy play is hard to quantify in those numbers, the overall results seem worse than deserved.
An interesting note towards that point is Thatcher Demko owning a -0.9 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). If you watch the Canucks consistently, it’s pretty clear Demko has been pretty strong, so I’d suggest those numbers are skewed a bit by how this season has played out for the team in front of him.
Should the Canucks manage to clean up their play in front of Demko and limit the amount of complete breakdowns, both goalies should see an uptick numbers-wise, as neither have looked markedly poor to my eye.
Having fought through a rough injury situation in the early going, the Jets have taken full flight thaks to an offense that looks very deep. A full offseason training program continues to pay dividends for Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has been every bit the top line center Winnipeg had hoped to acquire for Patrik Laine.
The analytics have even trended upwards for a Jets team who traditionally have not shown well with regards to play-driving numbers under head coach Paul Maurice.
There are not a ton of knocks against this team at the time, perhaps some of the depth defensemen, but ultimately for the time being they have earned their spot as a contender in the Central Division.
Backup Eric Comrie will take the net tomorrow and he’s been a big positive for the Jets in the early going. Comrie has three wins in his four appearances and has skated to a .926 SV% and a +3.5 GSAx.
Jets vs. Canucks Pick
You could write a preview on why Winnipeg should take this contest in very short order, as the Jets are in strong form, and are realistically holding advantages over the Canucks in every category of the roster.
But this league is extremely close, and I still do not feel this Canucks roster is as pathetic as things have looked of late, and that skating as a road favorite we might see a letdown from the Jets in this spot, and that’s just the nature of wagering a league as close as the NHL sometimes, you can’t just simply make the square play on the chalk.
There is still conceivably enough talent on this Canucks team to turn it around somewhat, although certainly some of the defenders and bottom forwards are clearly well below replacement-level.
I still believe in the talents of Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, and at some point I think they can get their line to click as a net positive as opposed to what we have seen.
Should Connor Garland, J.T. Miller and Nils Hoglander continue their strong play, that could be enough to swing the results in a league with a razor thin margin between winning and losing.
This is a favorable schedule spot where they will get the Jets on night two of a back-to-back after a fast-paced contest last night in Edmonton, and Thatcher Demko still offers the Canucks a great chance to win any contest should they breakthrough with some support, and some sharper defensive play looking to avoid another embarrassing defeat.
It’s not going to be a lot of fun, but I think backing the Canucks as a home underdog here has some merit.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks +100 or better