Nashville Predators at Winnipeg Jets
Top and bottom of the Central Division collide, albeit only separated by a three point gap that could be down to one by the end of the night.
MTS Centre is sure to be loud as this will be the first time this season for the Jets in their own building, the team comes in having lost the last two versus strong LA and San Jose teams. I'm not sure they'll find too many extra holes against the Predators even though they are likely to enjoy more of the possession and play, Nashville are yet to concede more than two goals in a game so far. Curiously enough Winnipeg are yet to score and also yet to concede a powerplay goal, the bad news there is that tonight's opponents have proven to be very effective at even strength.
Currently sitting at 22.0 per game Nashville have the lowest shots against average in the league and at the root of that are their main minute-eating blueliners Shea Weber and Roman Josi, who are currently taking over 26 minutes of ice team each. Although they were a disappointment on Tuesday I have to take the Predators again here.
Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks
Somehow Minnesota have managed to get away with playing only twice but consecutive blankings of Colorado and eight goals scored have signalled their early intentions. A very different challenge against Anaheim presents itself tonight and playing the restrictive defensive game that works so well against the Avalanche may not stack up against the Ducks' physicality.
Those Ducks are on a three game winning streak to answer back from an opening night defeat and like Winnipeg this will be their first home game of the campaign. Bruce Boudreau is happy for his team to dump the puck in deep because of their strength on the end boards, this also bypasses the success the Wild had last week at choking the puck carriers up at the blueline.
That's not to say extremely good defencemen like Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin aren't adaptable, it's just their role against Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry becomes very important to the team's success here. Anaheim won two of three tight contests last season and the tie is in play at 3.85, I like the option of Minnesota including OT at 2.32.
Best Bet: Nashville Predators to win at 2.70.