ATSSkinner | Thu 21/12/2017 - 10:55 EST

How Will These Canadian NHL Teams Fare Heading Into The Holiday Break

How Will These Canadian NHL Teams Fare Heading Into The Holiday Break

Can Winnipeg Win Four Straight Heading Into The Break?

The Winnipeg Jets have been one of the better overall teams in the entire NHL these first few months, and they'd love to celebrate the Xmas holidays with a few more wins. They've won two in a row entering their game in Boston on Thursday night and they've beaten some very good teams (Nashville, St Louis) in those contests. But the work doesn't get any easier for them with road games in Boston and New York Islanders on tap before some well deserved time off and it will be interesting to see how they end up doing before returning home. 

Winnipeg is currently about a +125 road underdog in Boston as the Bruins have been playing some good hockey themselves. Boston's won two in a row and seven of their last 10, and would love to go into the break on a high note as well. They've owned the Jets in recent years with a 21-8 SU record the last 29 meetings, and with the home team being 22-8 SU the last 30 times these two teams have played, it's probably better to look at laying the juice with Boston here than backing the Jets in this spot.

Edmonton Catches A Slumping Blues Team On Thursday

Thursday's full slate of games as the St Louis Blues playing in Edmonton for one of them as the Blues look for their first win on this four-game Western Canadian trip heading into the break. Losses in Winnipeg and Calgary have started this thing, and that loss against the Flames came last night. Playing on back-to-back nights is never easy in this league and St Louis is in tough against this Oilers team that's won three of their last four overall and are starting to look like the team everyone thought would be a Stanley Cup contender.

Yet, Edmonton is 0-2 SU against St Louis already this year and the last time they played was very ugly. St Louis beat this Edmonton team 8-3 about a month ago and if the Oilers want to continue turning that corner to becoming a winning team, this is a game they've got to win. However, as -140ish favorites I don't believe there is much value in that line - even with a tired Blues team in town - as it's the total I'm looking to wager on.

Edmonton's resurgence has still come with some hurdles, most notably they are a feast or famine team these days scoring. WIth the wins piling up of late the Oilers have been finding the back of the net, but while they are 4-2 SU in their last six, both of those losses were in shutout fashion. I do expect the Oilers offense to find some success tonight against St Louis, and with the Oilers 14-6 O/U in their last 20 at home, taking this game 'over' it's 5.5 total is the better bet in my opinion as we should have a 4-3 type game.

Can Vancouver Get Their Goalies To Stop Pucks?

Vancouver's predictable slide down the standings came a little later then I expected, but with one win in their last seven games (and a bit of a lucky OT win at that), this Canucks team appears to be in freefall. And while some will look at these struggles and point to the overall lack of talent this team has, it's actually been the goaltending and defensive play that's killed them during this run. Vancouver just can't keep the puck out of their net.

During that seven-game stretch, Vancouver has allowed at least four goals against in all six of those losses, and have given up 5 or more in four of their past five games. Thursday they are in San Jose to play a Sharks team that's responsible for giving Vancouver their only win in their last seven games, so the ugliness could countinue for Vancouver tonight. But until they get some decent goaltending play, bettors should always be considering adding a wager on the 'over' at any number in Canucks games in the foreseeable future.

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