San Jose Sharks at Winnipeg Jets
It's the only game of the night and a chance for this surprisingly good Winnipeg outfit to show what they can do under greater scrutiny than usual. Coming off a convincing 5-1 victory over Toronto on Saturday night, the Jets sit two points above tonight's opponents and in a really good position to go on to defy those (myself included) who figured they had little chance of making the postseason.
2015 got off to the worst possible start for San Jose suffering a 7-2 trouncing from St Louis and they've managed to take just one of their last five assignments all against clubs above them in the West. Through those games the team has scored a total of nine goals of which five have come from the stick of Joe Pavelski which poses some questions around the rest of the locker room. Even in the midst of the rough patch Joe Thornton had accumulated a point streak of five but the big center sits this one out to make turning the slide around that little bit harder.
Solid penalty killing has also been key to the Jets' success especially when they've spent more time shorthanded than any other club. It suits them though with the number of big bodies on their roster and whilst coach Paul Maurice might want his men to cut down the minor penalties a little on balance their physical approach is paying off. It'll be interesting to see whether the Sharks get drawn into the scrap, way back in the first week of the season they steered clear and skated to a comfortable 3-0 victory. It's easy to stay calm when you get two early goals however and this time building offensive frustration as well as being on the road gives the Jets a potential angle to wind them up. They're the team in better form and I'm backing Winnipeg to make it count.
Best Bet: Winnipeg Jets to win at 2.40.