A couple of teams that are firmly in the playoff picture, the Colorado Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets collide at Bell MTS Place in a divisional tilt. The first puck will drop at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 3, and it will be televised live on Sportsnet.
Colorado Avalanche at Winnipeg Jets Odds
Winnipeg is 30-22 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 7.0 units this season. That win percentage, the third-best in the Central Division so far in the early season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team managed during last years regular season (40-42). Through 52 regular season matches, 25 of its games have gone over the total, while another 25 have gone under and just two have pushed. The teams 18-5 SU at home this season.
The Jets enter the matchup with the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve converted on 24.4 percent of their extra-man chances this season. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.2 percent of all penalties.
As a team, the Jets have been penalized 3.9 times per game overall this season, 3.4 per game over their last five outings total, and 3.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to defend opposition power plays for just 7.5 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.
Averaging 28.0 saves per game with a .924 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (26-16-8) has been the primary goalkeeper for Winnipeg this year. If the Jets, however, decide to give him a breather, Winnipeg could turn to Steve Mason (3-8-8 record, .897 save percentage, 3.52 goals against average).
The Jets will continue relying on leadership from Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. Wheeler (56 points) is up to 14 goals and 42 assists and has recorded multiple points on 16 different occasions this year. Laine has 23 goals and 17 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 32 games.
On the other side of the rink, Colorado is 28-22 straight up (SU) and has earned 10.9 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 50 regular season contests, 28 of its games have gone over the total, while 20 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Avalanche are 10-14 SU as a road team this season.
The Avalanche have scored on 20.7 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked third overall and it’s successfully defended 83.8 percent of all penalties.
Colorado’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.2 times per game in total this season, and 3.6 per game over their last five road outings. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 8.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Semyon Varlamov (28.5 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Colorado. Varlamov has 14 wins, 12 losses, and two OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .912 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average this year.
Nathan MacKinnon (24 goals, 37 assists) has been one of the most vital facilitators on offense for the visiting Avalanche.
Colorado Avalanche at Winnipeg Jets Free Picks
Free Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Under
- Four of Winnipeg’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 3-1 overall in those games.
- Penalties and power plays may play a critical role in this one. The Avalanche are 13-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 17-14 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Jets are 14-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 18-14 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
- Two of Winnipeg’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 2-2 overall in shootouts this year.
- Winnipeg has averaged 13.4 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 9.8 giveaways per game (ranked 19th).
- Colorado skaters have averaged 7.4 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 6.2 giveaways per game (the fifth-fewest in the NHL).
- The Jets this season have handed the 12th-most hits in the league (22.1 per game).