NHL Pick: Washington Capitals @ Winnipeg Jets 11/17/11
For the first time as divisional rivals, the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets will meet in NHL betting festivities in a nationally televised game on Thursday night from the Great White North.
The Caps are really going to want to assert themselves as the leaders of this Southeast Division at some point. Through 16 games, they have 21 points, level with the Florida Panthers, and only six points in front of this Winnipeg squad in last place in the division. It’s all kind of odd for a team that signed one of the best goaltenders available in the offseason in Tommy Vokoun, especially considering how great the offensive talent has been. The ‘O’ definitely hasn’t been all that disappointing. The team is averaging 3.4 goals per game, No. 3 in the league, and the squad really hasn’t even gotten the best out of Alexander Ovechkin yet. Ovie has seven goals and seven assists in 16 games, while the leader of the team is Nicklas Backstrom has five goals and a whopping 15 assists. The Capitals have dropped four out of five games coming into this one, and they have six losses in nine games, which is why they really need to get on track in a hurry to be back in the hunt as the top team in the Eastern Conference.
The Jets knew that this was going to be a frustrating season, knowing that the Atlanta Thrashers were a mess last season, particularly after trading their best piece of the puzzle, Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils. The team has made the best out of its situation, though, especially here at the MTS Centre. The team is a respectable 3-3-0 at home, including posting a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. This is the first time that this team has played back to back games at home since moving back to the Great White North. The team is really at a lack right now for scoring. Evander Kane is the only man on the team with more than five goals, and there are only five players that have more than nine points on the campaign. Goaltending is a real concern as well. Ondrej Pavelec has a 3.26 GAA and has just five wins in his 15 starts this year, but he does have a few excellent spotty starts that could prove to pay dividends.
Washington Capitals @ Winnipeg Jets Pick: We tend to think that the Jets are going to be competing this year now that they have a string of home games. Most of Pavelec’s best games have been played in front of the fantastic hometown crowd in Winnipeg, and we think that he has the ability to come up with a solid effort against a great team. Expect Manitoba to be rocking on Thursday.
NHL Pick: Winnipeg Jets
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