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Winnipeg, Carolina Battle For Division Lead

Posted by Carter Brown on 3/24/2013 7:12:37 PM

Winnipeg Jets @ Carolina Hurricanes – Tuesday March 26, 2013 7:00PM EST

The see-saw battle for the Southeast Division crown is front and center when the Winnipeg Jets travel to Carolina to face the Hurricanes. The online betting experts have been tracking this race all season and it was the Caroline Hurricanes who opened up this abbreviated campaign with the division lead. Goaltender Cam Ward was injured and the Hurricanes slipped just a bit. The problem is that Ward will be out for the rest of the season and possibly on into the playoffs. The Hurricanes will need to learn to live without their goalie if the team wants to make the postseason.

The betting world has been watching the slow development of the Winnipeg Jets since the team was a franchise in Atlanta. It seems like the revitalization of the team came with the drafting of Evander Kane in 2009. Soon after Kane was brought on board, the Thrashers then picked up former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Dustin Byfuglein. From that point on, it seemed like the team started to come together and work to get better from season to season. Now that Kane is starting to emerge as a legitimate scoring threat, the Jets have jumped to the top of the Southeast Division and it is not something Winnipeg is going to give up easily.

Why the Hurricanes Will Win

The sports betting sites see that Carolina needs to get back on its feet and start winning games again. So far, the Hurricanes have only lost a game here and there, but the cracks in the armor are starting to show. A game against a strong divisional opponent is a great opportunity for Carolina to start getting its confidence back and getting on the winning track. If Carolina is not careful, the Jets could run away with the division in the last 20 games of the season.

Why the Jets Will Win

This is not only a good team, but this is also a balanced hockey team. Everyone contributes on offense and the forwards come back to play defense when needed. It is a team with a strong power play and a team that is able to kill penalties. If the Jets have one area that it still needs to work on it is clearing the puck out of their zone. Winnipeg tends to get trapped in its own zone and that can often result in goals that have changed the momentum of games.

The Bottom Line

A battle between two top division rivals this late in the season is always fun to watch. The Jets have just recently taken over the lead in the Southeast Division, so they are not going to be in a hurry to give it up. The Hurricanes are going to have to start gaining confidence in their backup goalie or else it could be a fast plummet out of the playoff race.

Pick: Winnipeg Jets

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