Monday night’s North Division showdown between the Calgary Flames (3-3-1) and Winnipeg Jets (5-3-0) should help bring some order to the clustered standings. Calgary lost three straight games before beating the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, while Winnipeg has dropped two of their last three, including Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Here is Knup Sports Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets Betting Preview.
The Flames are favorites at (-121) while the underdog Jets check-in at (+105). The puck drops at 8:00 P.M. Eastern.
Calgary Flames Preview – Needing to Heat Up
The Flames lost to Winnipeg 4-3 in overtime in the season opener and have been all over the board since then. They swept Vancouver, then got swept by Edmonton and split with Montreal.
The second line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Andrew Mangiapane (seven goals, 10 assists) has slightly outperformed the top line of Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, and Dillon Dube (six goals, nine assists). While having multiple lines that can put the puck in the net is always a good thing, 12 Flames skaters have three points or fewer on the season. Outside of those top two lines, Calgary isn’t much of a threat to score.
In net, Jacob Markstrom has started all but one game for the Flames this season and is the expected Monday starter. Markstrom has a 3-2-1 record this season, a 2.18 GAA, and a .929 save percentage with two shutouts.
Winnipeg Jets Preview – Still Trying to Take Off
Since trading star winger Patrik Laine to Columbus, the Jets have gone 2-2-0. Part of the reason has been Pierre-Luc Dubois, for whom Laine was traded, is still in quarantine after arriving in Winnipeg. While the standard period for people entering Canada to quarantine is 14 days, the Jets have asked for the quarantine period to be reduced to seven days so Dubois can join the team.
If it’s the full 14 days, Dubois will be unavailable until next week, but if it is reduced, there’s a slim chance he joins the team on Monday. Keep an eye on this situation throughout the day.
Nikolaj Ehlers (five goals, six assists) and Mark Scheifele (three goals, seven assists) are off to an excellent start. Six Winnipeg forwards are on a point-per-game pace or better to begin the season.
Defending Vezina trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck figures to get the nod on Monday. Hellebuyck has a 4-2-0 record this year, along with a 2.67 GAA and a .910 save percentage.
The Flames don’t have any players listed on the injury report, but as COVID test results are announced Monday afternoon, that could certainly change.
For the Jets, Tucker Poolman and Nate Thompson both were on the ice for the morning skate and should return to the lineup. Bryan Little is still out indefinitely, and Dominic Toninato is unfit to play. Poolman has not played since the season opener but scored four goals and 12 assists in 57 games last season. He should slot in on the second defensive pairing.
Calgary’s power play has been their bread and butter, scoring on 29.4% of their opportunities. They’ve also killed a respectable 80.8% of their penalties, 12th best in the league this season.
On the other end, the Jets have a middle of the road power play, scoring 19.4% of the time, 16th-best in the NHL. However, their penalty kill has been dreadful at 72.7%, seventh-worst league-wide.
Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets Betting Pick
Even with the return of Poolman to the blue line, the Flames’ forwards should still break through against a sub-par Jets defensive group. Neither team plays a particularly physical style, averaging fewer than 20 hits per game; however, both teams passed that mark in their first meeting, so it could get chippy Monday night.
Because of the high quality of both goaltenders, expect a low-scoring matchup with Calgary coming out on top.
Free Pick: Calgary Flames (-121).