Winnipeg Jets (33-33-9) at Phoenix Coyotes (36-27-12)
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 1, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Phoenix Coyotes -168 / Winnipeg Jets +153 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Coyotes look to keep the Jets at bay on Tuesday night as they push towards the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Jets skate into Phoenix on Tuesday night looking to pull off the upset over the playoff minded Coyotes who currently hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. At the time of writing the Jets are unpredictably up 3-0 on the Pacific division leading Anaheim Ducks and if they can hold on to that lead this line will likely move a little bit as the home isde are currently big time favourites. Winnipeg is one of the most frustrating teams in the league to handicap as they are a very talented bunch that has a playoff pedigree but they can’t seem to piece things together on a consistent basis and as such they find themselves in 12th place in the West and nine points out of the playoffs. The Jets can move forward knowing that Paul Maurice will be the team’s bench boss heading into next season which should provide them with some structure as it was evident that former head coach Claude Noel lost the dressing room. Al Montoya also appears to have taken the starter’s job away from Ondrej Pavelec which is a move I have endorsed all season long but with Montoya being injured at the moment and Pavelec playing very well last night against the Ducks it could be a battle next season.
The Coyotes currently hold a slim edge over the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and with time running out on the regular season schedule they know they need to finish strong if they want a chance at winning the Cup. Phoenix was expected to do some damage in the West this season after a handful of years of playing the underdog card but once again they find themselves battling tooth and nail to the bitter end just to secure a berth in the second season. The injury to Mike Smith looked like it could have been the end of their playoff bid but former Sharks backup and current starter Thomas Greiss has played very well in relief and could very well lead them into the postseason if he continues to play the way he is at the moment. Phoenix are pretty heavily favoured here and while I am a sucker for backing the Jets I do think the home side has the edge here especially if Winnipeg goes to their backup in this one which is a high probability.