The Winnipeg Jets (45-27-4) meet the Montreal Canadiens (41-28-8) at Bell MTS Place on Saturday evening.
The Jets are already assured of their NHL playoff place, so they can afford to relax to some degree over the run-in in the regular season. They faced the New York Islanders on home-ice on the Thursday evening prior to this game, with their last result before that being a 5-2 loss on home-ice to the Dallas Stars on Monday evening.
The Jets are averaging 3.34 Goals per Game at present, which leaves them 7th in the overall NHL standings. Defensively they are allowing 2.92 Goals per Game (14th overall). On an individual player basis, Mark Scheifele has scored 35 goals, while Blake Wheeler has recorded 68 assists.
Things are somewhat more complicated for the Canadiens, who are hanging onto a Wild Card place. They still need to win games to ensure a spot in the playoffs.
Before facing the Jets, the Canadiens were scheduled to be on the road at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday evening. Prior to that they had a 6-1 win on home-ice against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday evening for what was their fourth victory in five games.
The Canadiens are averaging 2.96 Goals per Game (tied 16th overall), while defensively they are allowing 2.88 Goals per Game (12th overall). Brendan Gallagher has lit the lamp on 33 occasions for the Habs this season, while Max Domi has registered 41 assists.
The Jets may have home-ice advantage and a better overall record this season, but predictions for this game also need to take into account that, having secured their playoff place, they might just be prone to taking their foot off the gas.
By contrast, the Canadiens have the greater incentive and come into this game on the back of a decent run of results. Therefore, the tips on the Money Line odds are the Montreal Canadiens.
Pick: Money Line – Montreal Canadiens