March 24, 2016

NHL Hockey Betting: Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets

NHL Hockey Betting:  Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets&h=253&w=372&zc=1

There are few worse opponents in any sport than an elite level team after a blowout loss. That’s what the hapless Winnipeg Jets face tonight as they welcome the Los Angeles Kings to the MTS Centre. The Kings are coming off a humiliating 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators in a game that wasn’t even as close as the lopsided final score would suggest. The Kings were dominated in every phase of the game and Nashville made superstar goalie Jonathan Quick look like he belonged in the AHL. Things didn’t get any better on Tuesday as Los Angeles lost 2-1 at Minnesota. Lest you think that this is ‘old school’ Los Angeles hockey–good at home, bad on the road–consider that the Kings are 21-13-3 away from the Staples Center this season.

Winnipeg is coming off a 2-0 win over Vancouver in their previous outing but is desperately trying to stay ahead of the last place Edmonton Oilers. The Jets are in the running with the Calgary Flames (who are showing at least a little fight in the final weeks of the season) as the most disappointing team in the NHL. Winnipeg is coming off a playoff appearance but have bumbled through the 2015-2016 season. Calgary at least has a nice nucleus of young talent but it’s not apparent where the Jets are going from here.

Los Angeles is 23-14 this season against opponents with losing records but the bigger issue is the Jets horrible record against winning teams. Winnipeg is 11-22 against opponents over .500 this season including 4-10 in the second half. They don’t deal with success well, posting a 6-13 record after a win by 2 or more goals. The Kings still need to be mindful of the teams behind them in the Pacific Division–they lead Anaheim by 4 points and San Jose by 5 with both the Ducks and Sharks facing beatable opponents tonight (Toronto and Edmonton respectively). Jonathan Quick will likely get the call in net for the Kings against Ondrej Pavelec who has been alternately ineffective and injured this season. That’s a huge mismatch but in reality there’s a mismatch in just about every phase of the game.