NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Flyers (February 1)
Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Nate Schmidt (Jets)
Jets vs. Flyers Odds
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Philadelphia will look to make it two in a row after finally breaking through with a win Saturday afternoon against the Kings. That snapped the Flyers’ 13-game losing skid.
They will play host to a Jets team that snapped a six-game losing skid themselves on Saturday, with a very strong 4-1 win in St. Louis.
Which team is likely to finally win a second consecutive matchup?
Jets Broke Streak of Bad Luck
Winnipeg finally broke through with a big win on Saturday in St. Louis, but it had a 0-4-2 stretch prior to that.
That stretch of games was far less awful than it sounds, though, as the Jets faced an elite level of competition and played many close contests.
The slump started in Washington with a tough 4-3 overtime defeat in which Winnipeg certainly could have fared better and generated a ton of high quality chances.
Next was a 5-2 loss in Nashville, which was far from a great effort, but the Jets did outshoot a very strong Predators team 38 to 23 in the contest. Superstar net-minder Juuse Saros was named the second star for the game.
They would follow those efforts with a very respectable 3-2 loss in Boston followed by a very tough 3-2 shootout defeat in Pittsburgh, a 5-3 loss to the Panthers and an ugly 5-1 loss at home to the Canucks.
This is far from an elite Jets club, but the indicators were there that they were due to find better results at some point. The Blues found that out by suffering just their fifth home defeat of the season.
It certainly didn’t help that the Jets already suspect defensive core had seen a number of pieces fall to the IR and were playing very shorthanded. The expectation is that they will see top defender Josh Morrissey return for this game, which would offer a massive boost to the club.
In goal, the Jets hold one of the league’s very best in Connor Hellebuyck. He’s been excellent yet again this season, with a +10.1 goals saved above expected rating and a .909 save % through 34 games.
Flyers Turning Attention to Development
The Flyers’ effort certainly didn’t appear to be the problem for much of their losing streak. Some urgent efforts helped Philly hang around in some contests, albeit several of those came against very average competition.
However the roster is simply just not that good right now, which is sort of obvious to say. It’s far from surprising to see them struggling, even if a 44.15 xGF% over the losing streak isn’t that horrible.
The streak coincided with the loss of top center Sean Couturier, whose excellent two-way play has quietly carried the Flyers to the even moderate results offered in recent years.
Joel Farabee and Kevin Hayes’ additions to the IR leaves the Flyers with very little scoring ability left in the lineup, and the current iteration up front should likely continue to struggle.
Certainly the chance for a number of young pieces to prove themselves at the NHL level should keep the energy around the team going. At this point, evaluating those pieces is the main purpose of the season in a true write-off year.
Things may not be as shaky on the back end if Ryan Ellis didn’t find his way onto the LTIR. But what’s left is a far from strong unit, and again, simply doesn’t have enough talent to see an upward trend in the back half of this season.
Carter Hart should draw the start here, and he’s offered a promising bounce-back season, with a +5.6 goals saved above expected rating.
Jets vs. Flyers Pick
To me, this sets up as a great spot to back the Jets, a team that obviously has considerably more to offer than the current Flyers roster, and whose poor recent results were greatly boosted by the level of competition faced and some roster deficits.
I like the chances that we see Winnipeg able to follow up its massive performance in St. Louis by taking care of a Philadelphia team offering very little up front.
Morrissey’s likely return will go a long way towards stabilizing a shaky defensive core, and the Flyers hold far less offensive talent than anyone the Jets have seen of late.
Altogether, I think it’s more likely that Winnipeg can produce a regulation win than a line of +110 suggests. I would play that line down to -105.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets Regulation Win +105
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