Calgary Flames (0-0) at Winnipeg Jets (0-0)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 8:00 pm (Bell MTS Place)
The Line: Winnipeg Jets -111 / Calgary Flames -111 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets meet Thursday in NHL action at the Bell MTS Place.
The Calgary Flames have made the playoffs back-to-back seasons, but they haven’t made it out of the first round since the 2014-15 season. The Flames lose Cam Talbot, T.J. Brodie and Mark Jankowski this offseason, while adding Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev and Dominik Simon. The Flames can only hope Markstrom provides that stability at the goalie position while Johnny Gaudreau becomes more consistent this season and leads this club offensively. The Calgary Flames are in a more than reasonable division and have a chance to make some noise this year. However, we’re also used to the Flames fizzling out ending their season with disappointment.
The Winnipeg Jets are coming off a 37-win season that ended with a loss in the qualifying round. The Jets say goodbye to Carl Dahlstrom and Dmitry Kulikov while they added Paul Stastny and Nate Thompson. The Jets have a chance every time they hit the ice as long as Connor Hellebuyck doing his thing in net, as he’s arguably the most consistent goalie in the league. The defense overall has some issues, but Hellebuyck is the type of guy who can help mask those concerns and keep the team on track. Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler will continue to lead the way offensively. The Jets are a dark horse contender to win their division this season.
The Flames are 18-8 in their last 26 road games and 1-4 in their last 5 overall. The Jets are 6-2 in their last 8 home games and 5-13 in their last 18 Thursday games. The over is 11-3-2 in Flames last 16 road games. The under is 12-5-1 in Jets last 18 overall. The home team is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings. The favorite is 13-5 in the last 18 meetings.
The Winnipeg Jets are the club with more upside here and have the advantage in net, which is key as we're going to be feeling these teams out with the season just starting. The Calgary Flames could be a surprise team this year, but they also have a reputation of letting us down, so I'm taking a wait and see approach. First game of the season and a soft line, I'll take my chances with the Jets at home.