Winnipeg Jets (30-20-10) at Toronto Maple Leafs (23-31-5)
|Date & Time||Saturday February 21, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs +128 / Winnipeg Jets -141 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Jets look to get back in the win column as they take to the road to face the Maple Leafs who are in the midst of a 1-8-1 stretch including a loss last night to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Winnipeg Jets have enjoyed another decent season but regular season mediocrity isn't acceptable anymore for a fan base starved for playoff hockey and while they sit in a wild card spot at the moment the race is incredibly tight. The Jets have gone just 4-4-2 over their last 10 games and really haven't played that well since the all-star break but with their new pieces finding a groove and perhaps some others on the way by March 2nd the Jets should stay in the mix in the Central and at very worst hold on to a wild card spot in the Western Conference. Winnipeg is a deep team up front and have some of the best young blue liners in the game in the form of Jacob Trouba, Ben Chiarot, and now Tyler Myers who came over in the Evander Kane deal so if they can get some respectable goaltending out of the Ondrej Pavelec-Mike Hutchinson tandem they could do some damage come playoff time.
The Maple Leafs on the other hand are a complete nightmare at the moment and things have gone from bad to worse since the Randy Carlyle firing and they have yet to win a road game in 2015. Toronto will be on home ice in this one once again to face the intense scrutiny of the Air Canada Centre crowd and while the number of jerseys thrown onto the ice will diminish due to the new in house rules you can be sure the boo birds will be out in full force. Toronto is likely to be very active at the trade deadline and will be the centre of attention when it comes to rumors involving Phil Kessel but with Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli already out the door the Buds don't have a ton of trade chips left unless they move one of their core pieces with the likes of James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, and Kessel fitting that bill. While it is easy to pick on the Leafs they have been known to show up when everyone expects them to flop but I don't see that here as the Jets need a win here badly and catch Toronto playing in a back to back.