POWER-SMASH ~ *INSANE* 85-46-2 Run! 20-7-1 Last 7 Days!
Winnipeg vs. Ottawa,
04/02/2018 19:30 EDT,
Score: 6 - 5
Money Line: -173 Winnipeg
8* Winnipeg (7:35 ET): The Jets are one of only three Western Conference teams to have clinched a playoff spot. While the President's Trophy is basically out of reach at this point (trail Nashville by seven points w/ four games to go), this is probably Canada's best hope of ending the nation's embarrassing Stanley Cup drought, which is set to hit a quarter century this Spring. The Jets are pretty clearly a top five team in the league heading into the playoffs and only them and the Bruins can claim to be top five in both goals scored and goals allowed. Tonight, they continue a tour through the Eastern provinces w/ a stop in Ottawa to face the lowly Senators. Given both season-long as well as recent form, this should be a "layup" for the superior club.
While Winnipeg is roaring towards the postseason, Ottawa is simply playing out the string. While the Jets are a top five team, the Senators are pretty clearly a bottom five team. Only the division rival Sabres have fewer points and a worse goal differential and by season's end, it's possible that the Sens end up at the very bottom of both categories. They are playing like a team that just wants the season to end as they ended March by dropping seven of the last eight games (only win coming in overtime). You'd have to go back to March 13th, almost three weeks ago, to find the last time the Senators won a game in regulation. They were shutout Saturday in Detroit (lost 2-0) and are also next to last in the league in goals allowed. Really, I have nothing positive to say about this team.
This is the final home game of the season in Ottawa, but I'm not sure that matters given the team has won just 16 times in 40 tries here at the Continental Tire Center. They did win their last time here, 3-2 over Florida (in OT), but incredibly have never won more than two in a row at home all season! Goaltending has not been kind all season and tonight's likely starter Craig Anderson has been horrible of late w/ an .864 save percentage his L4 starts. Meanwhile, Winnipeg will again turn to Connor Hellebuyck, who is turning in a Vezina-worthy campaign w/ 41 wins. The Jets have won seven of eight, the lone loss coming at the start of this road trip (in Chicago). While the Jets haven't been nearly as good on the road as they've been at home this season, on Saturday they beat a good Toronto team, 3-1. They are 20-9 SU against teams w/ losing records and Ottawa is an awful 5-20 SU when off a loss by two or more goals. 8* Winnipeg