The already-wild 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs added a new chapter this afternoon as the Islanders posted a convincing 4-1 win in Pittsburgh to take a 3-0 series chokehold on the Penguins. Barring Columbus winning the next two games against Tampa Bay, the Isles could become the first team of the playoffs to advance to the next round if they finish off the series Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
We dropped to 4-3 in the playoffs last night with a loser on the Bruins/Leafs Over 6 — the second straight Over play we’ve lost by 1 goal in that series. Our opinions on the Stars +0.5 and Avs/Flames Under 6 both won, although it would have been nice to get a Dallas outright win and a 2-0 series lead headed back to Texas.
With Nikita Kucherov suspended for Tampa Bay and the Lightning’s backs up against the wall, we want no part of a wager in the Bolts’ visit to Columbus tonight. Tampa Bay could very well rally the troops and right the ship with a huge effort, but it’s just as conceivable that the Lightning gets frustrated and rattled if it doesn’t enjoy early success against Bobrovsky and company.
The Winnipeg Jets, however, are a team we’re very interested in backing when adversity strikes, and we explain why in the writeup below. Enjoy the action tonight, good luck on whatever you bet, and thanks for reading!
Odds below are at the time we made the pick. Be sure to check out our live odds page for updated odds on today’s games.
When you’re facing tough times like the Jets are in this series, teams tend to react one of two ways: either they dig deep and find a way to deliver their best performance, or they shrivel up in the face of adversity. One thing we’ve noticed about Winnipeg over the last few years is an impressive ability to do the former.
A couple of months ago, for example, the Jets were humiliated 7-1 in Colorado — their third straight loss and 6th in 8 games. A couple of nights later in Vegas, the Jets responded with a huge 6-3 upset of the Golden Knights, setting the stage with a pair of goals before the game was 90 seconds old. Want another example? How about in March, when the Jets followed up a 5-0 loss in Vegas with a 5-0 rout of the visiting Predators a couple of nights later?
While the Jets have shown a tendency to deliver right when people are writing them off, the Blues are going to have a tough time matching the emotions and desperation of a Winnipeg team with its back to the wall. That can make a difference when you’re not capable of blowing teams away with your skill, and it’s worth noting that the Blues’ last 6 victories have all been by just 1 goal — including 3 of them in overtime. OT victories also played a big role in St. Louis’ strong close to the year, with seven of the Blues’ last 21 wins coming after regulation.
The results in this series have been frustrating for the Jets, but they’ve hardly been overmatched. The shots are 58-54 St. Louis, shot attempts at 5-on-5 are 55-49 St. Louis, and the score was tied late in the third period in each of the first two games. Winnipeg’s been a strong road team all year (22-18-1) and the Jets have enjoyed plenty of success recently in St. Louis, winning seven of their last eight visits. They also got to Jordan Binnington for 3 goals last game, with big guns Laine, Scheifele and Wheeler all finding the net.
We think it all adds up to Winnipeg’s best performance of the series, which should be enough to at least get this one into overtime — if not an outright Jets win.
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