Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
10:35 PM EST. Regulation only. Developing homegrown talent in the NHL is key and the Jets have done a great job in hitting on their draft picks. Mark Scheifele has set that bar high as the franchises first pick after the Thrashers moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg. Not only is Scheifele a leader in the Jets locker room, but he's been an absolute smoke show on the ice with five goals and nine assists over the last five games, including a pair of overtime winners. If you watch the Jets play, it can be a bit of a rollercoaster, as they are never really out of a game. We frustratingly watched Sunday night as Tampa took the lead again and again, but it could not put Winnipeg away and of course, the Jets won in OT. When a team is rolling and winning, all they want to do is get back to the rink and that is where the Jets are now after ripping off five straight Ws. Are we buying high on Winnipeg here? Perhaps, but the Kings are the worst team in hockey and the Jets catch them in a brutal scheduling spot here. It’s also Winnipeg’s first game of a three-game trip just before the Christmas break.
L.A. is in the midst of a seven-game run that will see them play six of those contests on the road. That makes this pit stop at home the only one they'll have between the 10th of December and the NHL's last night before the holidays on December 23rd. With road games in Detroit, Buffalo, Columbus and Pittsburgh behind them and with San Jose and Vegas waiting this weekend, asking these players to be primed and focused with all the distractions of home that come this time of year is a lot to ask. Did we mention that the Kings are horrible? L.A. lost every one of those four stops we discussed earlier and was also badly outshot against the Jackets (41-30) and Sabres (47-29). Jonathan Quick is likely to start for the Kings tonight in this unfavorable spot and frankly, we can’t envision any scenario in which the Kings emerge victorious, as it’s near impossible for Quick to get hot and also near impossible that the Jets are flat in the first game of an important trip. Everything is aligned right here for the Kings to keep on losing.
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Winnipeg -½ +108 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.16)