Blake Wheeler’s Jets will likely be shorthanded in the remainder of the series. Photo from @TSNHockey (Twitter)
- Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice hasn’t revealed the prognosis for injured center Mark Scheifele and winger Patrik Laine
- Calgary and Winnipeg, tied 1-1, play Game 3 of their best-of-five qualifier series today at 6:45 p.m., ET
- The Flames are winning the special teams battle with a 20% power play efficiency and a 92.3% penalty killing efficiency
Doctor reports will be more important than scouting reports when the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames play Game 3 of their best-of-five NHL qualifying series today (Aug. 4, 6:45 pm ET).
Updated Flames vs Jets Series Odds
Odds as of Aug. 4.
The health status of injured forwards Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine will play a major role in determining who will win this series. Scheifele and Laine, who combined for 57 goals this season, were both injured in Game 1 and didn’t play during the Jets’ 3-2 win in Game 2 Monday.
The Jets haven’t offered details about the injuries, or given any time table for their return. Some reports say Scheifele suffered what was considered a “short-term” injury. Other reports have him missing the entire series. Jets forward Adam Lowry said Scheifele “does it all” for the Jets.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Where Was Johnny Gaudreau in Game 2?
Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau has one power play goal and only three shots on goal in the first two games of the Flames-Jets series. Clearly, the Flames need him to be more dominant if they are going to win this series against the Jets.
When Gaudreau is playing well, he usually gets four or more shots per game. This season, he had five or more shots in 18 games. When he is buzzing round the opponent’s offensive zone, it opens the ice for other players. The Jets played physical against him in Game 2 and Gaudreau couldn’t find any open ice. You can bet the Jets are going to keep hitting him. He needs to play through the hits for the Flames to win the series.
#GoJetsGo Neal Pionk hit on #Flames Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau looks hurt by it. pic.twitter.com/0mcF7RHy15
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) August 3, 2020
Connor Hellebuyck Gives the Jets a Net Advantage
Winnipeg goalie Hellebuyck is among the favorites to win the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie and he has continued his stellar play into the postseason. He has a .921 save percentage over the first two games, compared to Calgary goalie Cam Talbot’s .909 save percentage.
Talbot was strong in Calgary’s Game 1 victory, and had an .885 save percentage in the Flames’ Game 2 loss.
The Flames have outshot the Jets 63-44 in the first two games, and probably would be up 2-0 if Hellebuyck hadn’t been sharp.
Anything is possible when you have Connor Hellebuyck in net. @NHLJets pic.twitter.com/z76plsh6Mi
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 2, 2020
Injury Knowledge Key to Betting this Series
The Jets look like a good value bet, but only if the Jets indicate that either Scheifele or Laine is returning to the lineup. The Jets have quality goaltending, a skillful offense and a drive to prove people wrong. They showed that with a spirited Game 2 victory against the Flames. They have overcome adversity all season to get where they are. If it any team can sustain the effort the Jets put in during Game 2, it is the Jets.
As per @UtilityVoice on this morning’s Big Show @TSN1290Radio The chances for #NHLJets Mark Scheifele to play the rest of this series are slim to none, Patrik Laine maybe but probably not for today’s game 3 & same for Mason Appleton.
— Jim Toth (@JimTothSports) August 4, 2020
But the Flames are a quality team, and it would be difficult for the Jets to outscore them without having one of their injured scorers return. Nikolaj Ehlers did rise up to produce the game-winner in Game 2. He has enough slickness to be an impact scorer in this tournament.
Pick: Jets (+125)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, the World Cup, NCAA Basketball Final Four and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020 and received major awards for his work in 2013 and 2014.