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NHL Handicapper Free Play: Winnipeg Jets at Arizona Coyotes

12.31.2015     10:46 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly

Submitted by ICC blog entry.
Winnipeg -120 at Arizona O/U 5.5 
Recommendation: Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Jets have won back-to-back games against Detroit and Pittsburgh and now take to the road to face the Arizona Coyotes. Winnipeg has had nothing but problems away from home this season as they come into tonight with a miserable 1-11 record in their last 12 road games. However, the Jets are playing better now than they have at any other point this season and there has been a lot of chatter from Winnipeg’s camp about this being a season defining five game road trip starting tonight. I expect to see a very inspired and motivated effort from the Jets and they are facing a very beatable opponent tonight as they take on a deficient Arizona squad that is having major issues defensively and in goal right now. The Coyotes have yielded four goals or more in seven of their last 13 games and the goaltending duo of Anders Lindback and Louis Domingue, who are Arizona’s two options in net with Mike Smith out long-term due to injury, are not stepping up and playing at an NHL caliber level on a consistent basis these days. Winnipeg is getting solid goaltending right now thanks to Connor Hellebuyck who has been very good in his first tour of duty in the NHL since being called up to the Jets from their AHL affiliate earlier this season. Hellebuyck has stopped 63-of-64 shots the past two games and enters tonight with a 7-3 record in his first 10 NHL starts. Winnipeg has held four of their last five opponents to three goals or less as they have been playing better hockey in front of their young goaltending to try and help him out. Arizona is also still dealing with several injuries in addition to their #1 goalie Mike Smith including Martin Hanzal and Boyd Gordon, two of their top centers, who are both on IR. Winnipeg is the better of these two teams and despite recent road woes, I like the Jets in this spot to come out with a motivated effort and begin their five game road trip with a win.

Tags: NHL Winnipeg Jets Arizona Coyotes Ian Cameron

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