Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Bell MTS Place is playing host a Central Division showdown as the Winnipeg Jets welcome the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. It’s the fifth and last time that the two clubs will go at it in the regular season. This one gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 7 and it’ll be shown live on Sportsnet.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets Odds

Winnipeg enters the matchup as the noticeable favorite with a -235 moneyline. The line for Chicago sits at +195 and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -125 over, +105 under.

Earning moneyline bettors 15.9 units, Winnipeg is 51-30 straight up (SU) overall this year. That win percentage, ranked third in the NHL so far in this young season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team managed during last years regular season (40-42). Through 81 regular season matches, 41 of its games have gone over the total, while 38 have gone under and just two have pushed. The teams 31-9 SU at home this year.

The Jets have connected on 23.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated ninth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.7 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Jets have been called for penalties 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five outings. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays for just 7.8 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

With a .923 save percentage and 28.2 saves per game, Connor Hellebuyck (43-23-9) has been the primary goalkeeper for Winnipeg this season. If the Jets decide to rest him, however, head coach Paul Maurice could roll with Steve Mason (5-8-8 record, .906 save percentage, 3.24 goals against average).

The Jets will continue to lean on the leadership from Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. Wheeler (90 points) has tallied 23 goals and 67 assists and has recorded two or more points on 25 separate occasions this year. Laine has 44 goals and 25 assists to his name and has notched a point in 50 contests.

Chicago is 33-48 straight up (SU) and has lost 17.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 39 of its contests have gone under the total, while 37 have gone over and just four have pushed. The Blackhawks are 15-25 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Blackhawks have converted on just 16.1 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 20th overall and it’s successfully defended 78.9 percent of all penalties.

Chicago’s skaters have been penalized only 3.3 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last ten games. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 5.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Anton Forsberg (.908 save percentage and 2.97 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for Chicago. Forsberg is averaging 23.9 saves per game and has 11 wins, 24 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit.

For the visiting Blackhawks, the offense will be facilitated through Patrick Kane, who has 48 assists and 27 goals this year.

Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets Free Picks

Free Pick: SU Winner – Jets, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • Two of Winnipeg’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 2-0 in those games and 4-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The over has hit in three of Winnipeg’s last five games.
  • Chicago has managed 29.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Winnipeg has been attempting 37.0 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Winnipeg is averaging 3.4 goals per game over its four-game winning streak.
  • Over Chicago’s last ten games, seven of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 2-5 in those games).
  • The Jets this season have handed the 12th-most hits per game (22.5).