The Winnipeg Jets are one of the best stories going in the NHL this season, but they’re in a bit of a rut right now. Winnipeg is still in second place in the Central Division and six points ahead of Calgary for a playoff spot, but the Jets will be desperate to take a win into the All-Star Break.
A showdown with the St. Louis Blues may be just what the doctor ordered.
Blues vs. Jets prediction (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
The Jets were shut out by the long shot Philadelphia Flyers in their last game, but the 4-0 final score was pretty misleading. According to MoneyPuck, Winnipeg created more expected goals (3.96 to 3.35) in all situations, so it was more about Philadelphia’s goaltender, Carter Hart, than anything the Jets did wrong. It happens.
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That said, it was the sixth time in their last eight games that the Jets were held under three goals. Winnipeg has tallied a total of three goals in its last three contests.
The bigger-picture view of the Jets’ offense is that it may not be prolific, but it is above average. The Jets rank 13th in goals per game, eighth in shooting percentage, and 17th in expected goals rate.
Those numbers don’t leap off the page, but when you have three 20-goal scorers, four point-a-game performers, and one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, you don’t need to dominate to have success.
The good news is that the Blues offer an excellent get-right spot for the Jets. St. Louis has lost four games in a row and has allowed 19 goals along the way. A leaky defense is not a new problem for the Blues, who rank 25th in goals allowed per game, 24th in expected goals allowed, and 22nd in high-danger chances conceded at 5-on-5.
This is also a bit of a sleepy spot for St. Louis. The Blues have been a big disappointment in the first half and will likely be sellers at the deadline, so it wouldn’t be a shocker to see a bland effort in the team’s last game before an 11-day break.
Betting on the NHL?
Winnipeg is the type of team that doesn’t need a ton of quality scoring chances to put up a crooked number, so getting the chance to bet on this offense against a suspect defense that is trending down seems like a good buying opportunity.
Blues vs. Jets pick
Winnipeg Jets Team Total O3.5 (-120, BetMGM)