The Jets will be looking for home comforts
this month and after taking down (and shutting out) the Coyotes in their first
December game they will be looking to
bust their four game losing streak against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday
The Winnipeg Jets (who are now 10-11-4) opened the
month with a 1-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. It was hardly an emphatic win
but that didn’t stop it being a big deal.
"That was huge," Jets winger Blake Wheeler said. "We've
learned that the two biggest things when you have a lead in the third period
are: make them come 200 feet at you and get the puck in deep; and stay out of
the penalty box." The Coyotes managed just six shots on goal in the final
period after totalling 27 in periods one and two.
Bryan Little scored the only
goal of the game in the first period and Jets ‘keeper, Ondrej Pavelec recorded
33 saves in just his second shutout of the season. It was the perfect
confidence boost for the goalie ahead of the visit by New Jersey as he’s lost
in his last three starts against the Devils, allowing three goals each time.
Feel the Jets stream
The Over/Under on this match is a tough one
to call with the sportsbooks offering -130 on Under 5.5 and +110 on Over 5.5 in the NHL odds.
The victory over the Coyotes was the Jets’ lowest scoring game for quite some
time with their last six games averaging seven goals per game. It looks like
the Jets defense has turned a corner, in their last two games (both losses)
they allowed their opponents (the Senators and the Bruins) 42 and 43 shots on
goal. It was a similar story with power plays as those two losses saw two power
play goals from ten chances, while against the Coyotes it was 0 for 2.
advantage also favours the Jets as they have won four of their last five on home
ice, and are getting comfortable ahead of a December run that sees them play nine
out of their next ten in Winnipeg. “This is a month that we can really use this
time to develop a lot of different things because come January, February,
March, we need to really know exactly what we're doing, where we're going and
how are we going to get there," coach Claude Noel said.
But what about the
Despite being 0-2-2 in its last four
meetings with New Jersey, (including a 3-2 overtime loss at the Prudential Center
a month ago) Winnipeg could hand the Devils a season-high fourth straight loss.
Friday saw the Devils fall 4-2 at Minnesota despite outshooting the Wild 31-16.
Shots are all well and good but it’s goals that count and Minnesota scored
three from their first four shots. The Devils even had the brighter start when
Zach Parise opened the scoring 2:54 into the game, but just 20 seconds later
Dany Heatley raced down the right side and beat Martin Brodeur to level the
scores. The first period ended 3-2 to the Wild but the Devils never got back on
I’m very tempted to back the first period on Saturday night to have the
most goals. You can pick up odds of +225 on that from the bookies. The Devils
have the better overall form with 12 wins (out of 24 games) compared to the
Jets’ ten wins (from 25). Still recent form favours the home side and in my NHL picks, I’m
backing a Winnipeg win.
Prediction: Jets win 3-2 at+1000.