It's a busy Wednesday in the NHL with 14 teams in action, and our friends at Daily Faceoff have previewed the three national TV games on tap.
The central division leading Winnipeg Jets are in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs, Carolina is in Boston for a heavyweight tilt against the Bruins, and the Chicago Blackhawks are in Seattle for the night cap.
Jump ahead here:
Let's look at each matchup and make some picks!
|TOR Maple Leafs
|Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
|7 PM ET, Wednesday, January 24
|How to watch
The marquee game on Wednesday's NHL calendar features the Jets and Maple Leafs, who kick off the first game of a home and home this week.
Winnipeg is having their best start in franchise history with a record of 30-11-4, a pretty remarkable turnaround considering injuries to Kyle Connor, Nik Ehlers, and Mark Scheifele at various parts of the season.
Winnipeg is 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, but they haven't had the most difficult schedule during that time. Their wins were coming against teams like Chicago, San Jose, Anaheim, Columbus and Ottawa. They lost on Monday night to the Bruins and have another difficult game against the Leafs tonight.
The Maple Leafs are struggling and are 2-4-1 in their last seven games. They're getting solid performances from Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, who’ve combined for 38 points in their last 11 games. Outside those three, the Leafs aren’t getting any production from the rest of the roster. John Tavares is pointless in his last eight games.
Winnipeg plays with a lot of structure under Rick Bowness and has Connor Hellebuyck playing at a Vezina Trophy level, especially in the last calendar month. Those two factors are going to play a role in the Jets winning on Wednesday night.
Money Line: WIN Jets +120
First Period Result: Winnipeg -0.5 (+185)
|TD Garden, Boston, MA
|7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 24
|How to watch
We have a great game lined up in Boston between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins are once again one of the elite teams in the NHL despite losing Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci in the offseason. Charlie Coyle, Pavel Zacha, and Morgan Geekie have done a good job stepping up in their place.
Boston is 5-0-0 in their last five games and have been playing some of their best hockey of the season. The line of Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak are dominating right now as they've combined for 25 points in their last five games. Jeremy Swayman has turned into one of the best goalies in the world and is in the Vezina Trophy conversation.
Carolina continues to be one of the most difficult teams to play against in the NHL. They play an aggressive man-on-man system in their own end which makes it incredibly difficult for their opposition to generate offence against. They also do generate a lot of shot attempts in the offensive zone. Six of the top eight players in the NHL in Corsi% are on the Hurricanes.
Sebastian Aho is quietly having one of the best seasons in the NHL with 51 points in 42 games. The key for the Bruins will be shutting down Aho. if they can do that, I like their chances of winning this game.
Money Line: BOS Bruins -135
Anytime Goal Scorer: Charlie Coyle +260
|Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
|10 PM ET, Wednesday, January 24
|How to watch
The late game on Sportsnet features the Connor Bedard-less Blackhawks in Seattle to take on a surging Kraken team.
Seattle has stepped up their game over the last month. They are 10-4-2 in their last 16 games, good for 7th in the NHL in points percentage since December 13th. This is a Kraken team that is scoring by committee and is better than the sum of their parts.
One of the positive stories to come out of Seattle is the play of goaltender Joey Daccord, who’s started in 14 of the last 16 games for the Kraken. In that time, Daccord has 9 wins, a .940 save percentage, and 1.91 goals against average. He's been a huge part of the Kraken turning around their season.
On the other hand, you have the Chicago Blackhawks who are icing one of the worst rosters we have seen in the modern NHL. But you have to give them credit for how hard they're playing. They've only been outscored by three or more goals just once in their last nine games, and lost by one goal to the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets in that time.
It's going to be hard for the Blackhawks to win games when they're missing the likes of Connor Bedard, Anthony Beauvillier, Andreas Athanasiou, Taylor Hall, Tyler Johnson and Connor Murphy.
This feels like a game Seattle should win. But I see the Blackhawks keeping it close.
Money Line: SEA Kraken -290
Ties After Regulation: Yes +325
Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
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