The Jets look to end an early
season three-game skid tonight as they welcome the Calgary Flames to MTS
Centre. The Jets offence has hit a wall since their season opener, scoring just
one goal in the past three games. This is a sign that the Jets are still
missing their top offensive threat, Evander Kane. Kane is still out after
suffering an injury Jets season opener against Arizona.
The 3-3 Calgary Flames will be
wrapping up their six-game road trip tonight where they would like to get back
over .500 after falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday. The Flames have
three wins and two losses on this road trip and handed both Chicago and
Nashville their first losses of the season.
The Jets took two of three
games against the Flames last season, and the Jets lone loss to Calgary was in
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The Jets have continued to
shuffle their lines in search of some form of an offensive spark. They have moved
Mathieu Perreault to the left wing of the top line with Mark Scheifele and
With Perreault moving the wing,
rookie forward Adam Lowry will replace him as the centre of Winnipeg’s third
line, playing between TJ Galiardi and Michael Frolik. Lowry played centre with
the Swift Current Broncos in junior and during his time in the AHL with the St
John’s Ice Caps, but this will be his first time he will centre a line at the
Thorburn returns to Winnipeg’s
fourth line after an uneventful game on the third line Friday night against the
Predators. He will play with Anthony Peluso and Jim Slater, on a line that will
be expected to use their physicality to turn the game in the Jets favour.
The Jets defence remains
unchanged from Friday’s contest with the Preds. Trouba and Stuart continue to
gel as a top pairing and both players’ styles seem to compliment one another
How Adam Pardy continues to get
ice time over Grant Clitsome and other defenceman in the minors is beyond me.
He isn’t an NHL defenceman, yet he seems to manage playing more games than he
sits. Clitsome could come in and give Postma a more reliable partner
defensively. This would give the young rearguard an opportunity to skate up
with the puck and re-establish his offensive game that he built a career on in
junior with the Calgary Hitmen.
The Flames shuffled up their
lines from their last game as well. Some of these moves include moving Joe
Colborne back to the wing to play along side Sean Monahan, moving Matt Stajan
back into the Top-6 and giving the fourth line some speed in the form of Paul
Byron and Lance Bouma.
Also Johnny Gaudreau returns to
the lineup after being healthy scratched against the Blue Jackets. The
diminutive rookie has struggled to find his offensive game at the NHL level,
maybe putting him on a line with fellow speedsters Mikael Backlund and Mason
Raymond can spark the young forward’s game.
Most of the Flames offence has
come from their defence this season. Both Mark Giordano (1g, 5a) and TJ Brodie
(2g, 4a) lead the team with six points apiece.
Kris Russell is currently
second in blocked shots in the NHL. His 22 blocks are second only to Buffalo
Sabre’s defenceman, Josh Gorges (30).
Game Day Prediction: The Flames are wrapping up their early season six-game road
trip, and have been away from home since October 9, 10 days on the road
traveling from city to city is gonna be tough on the team. I expect the Jets to
break out of their scoring slump and triple their goal total from the past
three games, earning a close 3-2 victory.
Obvious Prediction: The Jets, (like most of the teams that have faced Calgary this
season,) outshoot the Flames. Calgary has been outshot by opponents 152 to 209
this season and I expect the Jets to put a lot of shots on net tonight.
Not So Obvious
Prediction: Jets rookie Adam Lowry enjoys a
sort of break out game. Netting his first career NHL goal and adding an assist
against the team his father played his final four seasons with.