The Jets continue their
four-game road trip Thursday night when they visit the Prudential Center and
the New Jersey Devils. This will be the first of three games in four nights for
the Jets, and the rest of the road trip wont get any less difficult for
The Devils kicked off the
2014-15 season with three straight wins and looked like a team to be reckoned
with in the Metropolitan Division. But a string of five losses in their next
six games has brought New Jersey back to reality and the middle of the pack in
the Eastern Conference.
This is going to be the first
of two meetings between the Jets and the Devils this season, and the only time
Winnipeg will visit the “Garden State”. Winnipeg won both games last season against
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Evander Kane returns to the
Jets lineup tonight after missing pretty much all of this season so far. He was
injured early in Winnipeg’s home opener against the Arizona Coyotes. He’s only
played 1:24 this season, but his offence is expected to help Winnipeg in the
goals department. It’s going to take awhile for him to get his legs back
Bit of a shuffle for the rest
Jets forwards as we see Michael Frolik jump up to the top line with Andrew Ladd
and Bryan Little Who if I may add have been just great for Winnipeg this
Little’s three assists last
game pushed him into first in points on the team with five goals and four
assists in nine games this season.
Dustin Byfuglien moves down the
lineup to the third line where he will play with fellow big body, Adam Lowry
and Mathieu Perreault. I expect that line to play a lot of minutes against New
Jersey’s small third line.
Zach Bogosian will be a
game-time decision and could miss his second straight game with an upper body
injury. So with that, all three of Adam Pardy, Paul Postma and Grant Clitsome
draw into the line up.
I am very interested in seeing
Postma pairing up with Toby Enstrom, whom I believe will help Postma find the
offensive game that many a Calgary Hitmen fans know he has.
The top pairing of Mark Stuart
and Jacob Trouba continue to compliment each other nicely and I believe that
they will see close to 25 minutes in tonight’s contest.
The Devils come into tonight’s
game with a well-aged forward core, but a threatening one nonetheless. Jaromir
Jagr is still one of the most skilled right wingers in the league and his two
goals and five assists proves that even at the age of 42, the Kladno-native has
still got it.
Mike Cammalleri is set to miss
his second straight game for the Devils and his offensive contributions will be
missed. His five goals this season leads the team in that category, coupled
with a pair of assists. The Jets are lucky to not have to face a guy of his
skill set tonight.
Martin Havlat and Jordin Tootoo
are also slated to miss tonight’s game.
I’ve always thought of New
Jersey’s defence as a shell of its former self, I mean they once had Scott
Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski and Ken Danyko patrolling their blue
line. But this season I have been pleasantly surprised with a couple of their
Most notably is the pairing of
Andy Greene and rookie d-man Damon Severson. Greene leads the team in +/- this
season at a +9. Now before everyone goes off saying +/- is a garbage stat, keep
in mind New Jersey has given up 32 goals this season (third most in the NHL).
But Greene has still managed to be tied for first amongst NHL d-men in that
Severson on the other hand has
been a demon offensively for the Devils. (See what I did there)? He is
currently second on the team in goals (4) and tied for second in points (7)
with Cammalleri and Jagr. Did I mention he was a rookie?
Game Day Prediction: I feel the Jets are a team that can build off of their recent
success, and will earn a hard fought victory against New Jersey. Winnipeg wins
Obvious Prediction: Winnipeg scored three goals in both their games with New
Jersey lasts season. I say they continue that trend and put three past Schneider
Not So Obvious
Prediction: Jets Captain, Andrew Ladd nets all
three goals for Winnipeg. Thus completing the little pattern he started two
games ago. He scored one goal against Colorado and two goals against the New York
Islanders. Can he get a hat trick against the Devils? Maybe.