Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Jets vs. Islanders (2/22/2023) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Jets vs. Islanders (2/22/2023)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
February 22, 2023
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Winnipeg Jets vs New York Islanders (2/22 @ 7:00 PM EST)

Puck Line: Islanders -1.5 (+200)
Money Line: Jets +105 / Islanders -120
Total: 5.5

Overview and Betting Info

The Winnipeg Jets (35-21-1) will head to the Big Apple to take on the New York Islanders (29-24-7) on Wednesday night. This is the first time these two teams have met this season, and they will play again on Sunday. The Jets are second in the Central with 71 points while the Islanders are fourth in the Metro with 65 points.

The Jets are 32-25 against the puck line this season and have covered 15 of their 25 home games. They have gone over the total just 15 times, six of which came at home.

The Islanders are 27-33 versus the puck line and have covered half of their road games. They have gone over the total 26 times, 15 of which came on the road.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets enter Wednesday with the third most points in the West despite losing five of their last nine games. The cold streak has had bad losses, including two of the East’s worst teams in Columbus and Philadelphia. Winnipeg relies on their defense this season, ranking third in goals allowed (2.60 GA/GP) and penalty kill percentage (84.0%) and thirteenth in shots allowed (31.1 SA/G). The offense has been average most of the year, ranking sixteenth in scoring (3.14 GF/GP), twenty-second in shots (30.2 S/GP), and fourteenth in power play percentage (21.9%). The Jets are 15-13-1 on the road this season.

The Jets’ offensive attack is led by Kyle Connor (26 G, 39 A), Pierre-Luc Dubois (24 G, 31 A), and Mark Scheifele (34 G, 18 A). Connor is twentieth in the league in points (65) and shots (199) which was boosted with a three-point performance on Monday (1 G, 2 A). Dubois has a fantastic December, but his production has dropped since. He had 12 points in January and has just three so far in February. He has registered a point in three of his last four games, including a goal scored against the Rangers on Monday. Scheifele has been on fire of late, with four points over his previous two games, including two goals in their win on Monday. Keep an eye on Blake Wheeler (15 G, 27 A) as the forward has five points this month, three of which were goals.

The Winnipeg blueline is led by Josh Morrissey (11 G, 47 A) and Dylan DeMelo (2 G, 14 A). Morrissey is second in points on the team and made the All-Star game thanks to ranking in the top ten for points, goals, and assists among defensemen. Morrissey has five points over his last six games, including a two-assist performance on Monday. DeMelo joins Morrissey on the top pairing and is the more defensive-minded of the two. While he doesn’t provide much on offense, he will be important in containing a revamped Islanders attack. Watch their second pairing as well, as Neal Pionk (8 G, 17 A) has three points in their last two games, and Brenden Dillon (1 G, 15 A) leads the Jets in hits (143).

The Jets have one of the best goalie duos in the NHL, led by Connor Hellebuyck (26-16-1, 2.39 GA/G, 92.6% SV). The All-Star has started three games this month, going 2-1 and saving 95.5% of shots he faced. The goalie is second in the league in wins, eighth in goals allowed, and fourth in save percentage and shutouts (3). As good as Hellebuyck has been, he was beaten up against the Islanders in a four-goal loss last season. If he can’t go, look for David Rittich (9-5-0, 2.49 GA/G, 91.1% SV) to get the start.

New York Islanders

The Islanders come into Wednesday having won just eight of their last 23 games since the New Year. It’s taken the Islanders from contending for the division title to hoping to hold on for a wild card spot. They made some moves at the trade deadline to boost their offense, and it appears to have helped, as they have six points over their last five games. The defense has been the Islander’s strength, ranking ninth in goals allowed (2.77 GA/GP) and second in penalty kill percentage (82.1%). This is despite ranking nineteenth in shots allowed (32.0 SA/GP). The offense has been an issue, but it is more dangerous with Bo Horvat added to the roster. They currently rank twenty-fourth in scoring (2.92 GF/GP), nineteenth in shots (30.8 S/GP), and twenty-sixth in power play percentage (17.1%). They are 17-10-3 at home this season.

The Islander’s improved offensive attack is led by Brock Nelson (26 G, 31 A), Mathew Barzal (14 G, 37 A), and Bo Horvat (35 G, 25 A). Nelson has been fantastic in February, with seven goals in his last eight games (11 points). The All-Star center is coming off a game where he scored two goals on five shots. Barzal has been fantastic, but he picked up an injury on Saturday that will keep him out indefinitely. Luckily, the addition of Horvat gives them one of the league’s top scorers. The star has six points in his first eight games with New York, including a goal and assist in Monday’s win. Expect Anders Lee to play a more prominent role, as the forward has three goals in his last three games (5 points).

The New York blueline is led by a top pairing of Adam Pelech (3 G, 11 A) and Ryan Pulock (3 G, 16 A). Neither has been providing much offense, but they are a big reason for the Islanders’ success on defense. The unit is very deep, with the third pairing consisting of Sebastian Aho (+8) and Noah Dobson (11 G, 21 A) ranking among the league’s best. Dobson has been great offensively, with eight points in his eight games this month.

The Islanders have an incredible goalie in Ilya Sorokin (19-17-5, 2.43 GA/G, 92.4% SV). He ranks in the top ten in every major category and leads the league with five shutouts. He’s had a solid month since his All-Star appearance, going 3-1 and saving 92.6% of shots. Sorokin shut out the Jets in his lone start against them last season. If he can’t go, the Islanders must turn to their struggling reserve, Semyon Varlamov (10-7-2), 2.82 GA/G, 91.1% SV). He has worked in his three starts this month, going 1-1-1 and saving just 86.9% of shots.

Free Pick: Jets ML +105

This is tough, but we see the Jets ML as the most valuable bet. The Jets have been struggling on offense all season, but there are signs that it is starting to change. While DuBois has been struggling in 2023, he does have three points over his last four games, signaling he is breakout out of the slump. Connor is always great, and Scheifele is as hot as anyone in the league. Add this to one of the best offensive blueliners in the NHL, and we see them kicking this offense into gear against an Islander that gives up a lot of shots.

The Horvat trade was massive for the Islanders, but they are still dealing with many injuries. The loss of Barzal is going to have a considerable impact on an offense that was already struggling to score. As good as the Islanders have been at home, we don’t think they’ll have enough offensive firepower to bet a good Jets defense.

We’re taking the Jet’s money line on Wednesday.