Who’s excited for all-Canadian hockey this weekend? The Winnipeg Jets head to Ottawa for a huge clash with the Senators – and this has all the makings of a modern classic. While the Senators continue to struggle in the Atlantic Division, fans are expecting the hosts to raise their game for this one…
Ottawa got back to winning ways last time out with a 4-0 shutout success over the Anaheim Ducks. The Senators will be quietly confident of notching back-to-back wins here and the home supporters will be fully behind them. Expect a raucous atmosphere at Canadian Tire Centre.
However, the Jets are flying high at the top of the Central Division. Winnipeg have a narrow one-game lead over closest rivals Nashville Predators and victory here could be huge in the contest of their season. Bouncing back after two straight defeats is an absolute must for any playoff-chasing team.
The visitors have the third best offensive record in the Western Conference and Ottawa will be wary of an early onslaught. Keeping the Jets goalless for the first period should give the Senators a lift and that may be the difference between success and failure this weekend.
Winnipeg will be confident ahead of this one despite their recent struggles. The Jets have won their last four games against Ottawa and that may be enough to sway punters to side with the road team – 4/7 with 888sport is a reasonable price given the gulf in class.
All Is Not Lost For Struggling Senators
Ottawa have failed to put a consistent run of results together in 2018/19 and that is likely to cost the Senators in their pursuit of a playoff berth. However, fans will take some positives from the 2018/19 campaign.
Mark Stone and Matt Duchene have both topped the 50-point mark and Ottawa should look to build around these two men next year. Stone (26) and Duchene (28) are in their prime years and Ottawa could reap rewards from putting young talent around these guys.
With just 20 wins from 54 regular season games, Ottawa’s position is precarious but there is a bright future ahead. Another sub .500 campaign is hardly ideal ahead of what could be a big 2019/20 season but too many changes in the offseason will disrupt the balance.
Winnipeg Must Stand Tall In Central Title Race
The Jets are on the verge of something special. We said it last year and we’re saying it again this year: Winnipeg aren’t too far away from competing for the Stanley Cup. 10Bet are going an industry-best 14/1 for the Jets to claim a first title and punters will fancy the Canadian side to go close.
Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele continue to wreak havoc on offense for the Jets. Both men are now over 60 points this campaign, with Wheeler sitting second in the league for total assists (54) – Winnipeg have two game-changers on the roster.
The Jets have two games in hand on Nashville but making the most of those matches is an absolute must. Winnipeg cannot afford to be playing catchup in the race for supremacy in the Central Division. A competitive end to the campaign awaits in the West…
Ottawa will be up for this one and the Jets won’t have everything their own way. In fact, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Senators take this one to overtime.
However, in typical Ottawa fashion, the Senators may fall short. Winnipeg have the class and experience to cope under pressure on the road and a huge win for the Central leaders could be on the cards.
TIP: Winnipeg Jets to win
CORRECT SCORE: Ottawa Senators 3-4 Winnipeg Jets (AOT)