The Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets are gearing up for a two-game set in Winnipeg this week. The first matchup is on Monday when the Oilers visit Bell MTS Place with the Jets in a funk. Winnipeg has lost three in a row and has been a lousy option for NHL picks of late. The Jets struggled in the season series this season, dropping four of the six meetings. Will that momentum continue or will something change on Monday?
Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets
Date: Monday, April 26th, 2021 – 9:00 PM ET
Location: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB
The Edmonton Oilers have long had skilled offensive weapons but that has never been enough. They’ve lacked goaltending. As we start the week, the Oilers are 27-16-2 because Mike Smith has proven to be quite the anchor in net. The 39-year-old vet has compiled a 16-5-2 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. He hasn’t had a GAA this low since the 2011-12 season, which was a career-best campaign. The Oilers went into the season with Mikko Koskinen as their starter but by the All-Star break it was pretty clear he wasn’t the answer. Things couldn’t get any worse, so the Oilers made a change and the swap has paid huge dividends. The Oilers were 3-6-0 at one point but are 24-10-2 since. Smith is cruising this month with a 2.28 GAA and a .923 save percentage. If he plays well on Monday, the Oilers will have a good chance to pick up the win.
The Jets have lost their way as they’ve fallen short in three straight and four of their last six. Goal-scoring has all of the sudden become an issue as they have just four tallies in their last three games. That’s a bit of a surprise for a team that ranks 11th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.15. However, April has not been kind to them as they are down to 2.80 goals this month, which explains part of their challenges.
Overall, Winnipeg has been a mediocre team since starting the season quite well. The Jets were 15-7-1 through their first 23 contests but are 12-10-2 in their last 24. For betting purposes, they’re essentially 12-12, so they haven’t been a reliable option in the sportsbook.
The Jets are still giving up just 2.4 goals per game over their last 10, which isn’t bad. They have a team save percentage of .919 over that span. The main issue has just been a quiet offense. We’ll see if they can wake up and score a few goals against the Oilers,
Prediction: Edmonton Oilers -115