Winnipeg Jets at Columbus Blue Jackets
Despite eventually ending their nine-game winless run Columbus have again racked up a losing streak of three and I think tonight's opponents Winnipeg will manage to extend it. In terms of opponents, November has been tough on the Jets though I'm sure Paul Maurice will be satisfied at treading water through the past few weeks – a winning road record overall is always a positive for a team likely to end up battling for lower playoff spots.
They've also taken 12 points from a possible 14 against clubs from the Metropolitan Division largely due to their surprisingly good defensive efforts. Up front a lack of scoring support for the top line of Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd is needed as well as everyone working on upping their powerplay numbers. It's much the same for the Jackets with the outstanding Ryan Johansen and also Nick Foligno running hot, for their depth lines however positive puck possession numbers aren't there either.
Even though Sergei Bobrovsky is available in net once more other injuries have wiped out their depth at center and that lack of offensive talent at the top end of the ice often makes it difficult to relieve pressure at the other. It's showing up in the fact that Columbus have conceded three or more goals in all but one of their outings this month. Take Winnipeg to grind this one out and add to the Jackets' woes.
Colorado Avalanche at Arizona Coyotes
After spending the majority of the month on the road Arizona could do with building some momentum at home, and they'll get the chance to get the ball rolling versus one of very few teams below them in the standings. It seems the Avs are improving with three wins from the last four, but the overall numbers are damning and in the betting to win the Stanley Cup no other side's stock has fallen further.
Patrick Roy's men have just one win against a fellow Western Conference side all season and perhaps even worse is the fact they have only twice conceded fewer than two goals in a game. It's up to Arizona to apply pressure to their suspect defence and force some turnovers, big bodies like Martin Hanzal who should be back in the lineup and Shane Doan can make that happen. In a clash of two clubs that haven't been great all season and odds-wise is close to a coin flip the hometown Coyotes are better value at 2.45.
Best Bet: Winnipeg Jets to win at 2.55