by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The loss of Mark Scheifele and questionable status of fellow top-end center Paul Stastny does not seem to bode well for the Winnipeg Jets’ likelihood of snapping a home-ice playoff drought, although it might increase the chance of a tighter low-scoring matchup. The Jets are -115 home favorites and the Montreal Canadiens are -105 underdogs with a 5.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Jets are 2-8 in their last 10 playoff games as a favorite at home, with the UNDER hitting six times at betting sites. The Canadiens are 6-3 in their last nine playoff games as an away underdog, with an even 4-4-1 split on the totals (how the OVER/UNDER works).
Canadiens vs Jets | OddsShark Matchup Report
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Montreal wrested home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven North Division final with a 5-3 victory on Wednesday. The Canadiens had a 3-1 edge in five-on-five goals, which worked out to a 77.1 goals-for percentage (GF%) and a 67.1 expected-goals percentage (xGF%) after Natural Stat Trick’s score and venue adjustments were applied. Montreal went one-for-four on the power play on Wednesday, and has converted at a 27.3 percent clip (six-for-22) against Winnipeg this season. The Jets’ zero-for-three night left them with a 24.1 percent power play (seven-for-29) against the Canadiens.
The win, of course, came with a cost to Montreal since wing Jake Evans (concussion) is out after a violent check from Scheifele. His absence will mean center Phillip Danault and right wing Brendan Gallagher will have a new partner on Montreal’s checking line.
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Both the Nick Suzuki-Cole Caufield-Tyler Toffoli and Erik Staal-Joel Armia-Corey Perry lines also controlled the flow of scoring chances on Wednesday. Montreal’s top three attackers last time out – Gallagher, the now-injured Evans and Suzuki – all scored, which might be an omen that the club’s puck luck will return to normal on Friday.
Montreal is 12-13 this season in away games with one day of rest, but is 3-1 in that scenario so far in the playoffs.
Canadiens goalie Carey Price, per MoneyPuck, actually saved 0.63 goals less than expected on Wednesday. Price is 5-3 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
The Jets had a 32.9 xGF% in five-on-five play on Wednesday, and that was before Scheifele, their No. 1 center, received a four-game suspension. There is a chance Stastny (undisclosed) will return, but defenseman Dylan DeMelo (lower-body injury) may also be out for a while.
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The Jets have been able to flush out poor performances all season. They are 7-3 in games following contests where Natural Stat Trick credited them with an xGF% under 35 percent, but typically their top lines were better staffed. Center Adam Lowry, who will likely move up the depth chart, led Winnipeg in expected goals on Wednesday. Captain and right wing Blake Wheeler had a team-most six shots; he will have to carry more of the load with Scheifele sitting in the press box.
In the regular season, the Jets were just 6-9-2 in home games with one day of rest. They scored an average of 2.29 goals in those games and allowed 2.88, for an average total of 5.18.
Like Price, Hellebuyck has room for improvement, as he saved 0.69 goals less than expected on Wednesday. Hellebuyck is 4-1 in the playoffs with a 2.01 GAA and .937 save percentage.
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