Winnipeg will look to get back
to their winning ways tonight when they take on the suddenly streaking Carolina
After having their eight game
point streak snapped in a shutout loss to Montreal, Winnipeg will have to play
better than they did two nights ago to get back on the right track.
Carolina has been one of the
hottest teams in the month of November posting a 5-0-1 record in their past six
games. Which is a recent turnaround after failing to win a game in October,
losing their first eight games of the season. The Hurricanes now sit seventh in
the Metropolitan division, but have a few games in hand compared to their
Tonight’s game wraps up the two
game season series between Carolina and the Jets. The Jets won the first
meeting between these two teams back in October, where they won their first
home game of the season 3-1.
The Jets offence has been
suspect all season, sitting 28th in the NHL with 28 goals in 16
games. So far on this five-game road trip, Winnipeg has just one goal in two
games. You can expect the Jets would like to turn their fortunes around,
starting in Carolina.
During the first contest
between Winnipeg and Carolina this season, the Jets third line contributed to
two of the team’s three goals that night. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see
that again tonight.
Jets rookie netminder, Michael
Hutchinson will get the start tonight between the pipes. In two previous starts
this season. Hutchinson Is entering tonight’s game coming off of a 33 save
shutout effort against the Chicago Blackhawks a week and a half ago.
The Barrie, Ontario-native has
a 1-1, a 2.19 GAA and a 0.935 save percentage. The 20-year-old also appeared in
relief for Pavelec in a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay, where he turned away all 9 shots
he faced in the third period.
The Jets defence remains intact
once again. I’m really liking the pairing of Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom, their
offence is starting to become more prominent every game as they start to get
comfortable playing with one another.
Carolina’s forward core is
chock-full of young skilled forwards including, Victor Rask, Riley Nash, and
Jeff Skinner. But none of their young forwards has been more productive than
Elias Lindholm in recent games. After being held to just one point in October,
Lindholm has accumulated a total five goals and two assists in the month of
Another player worth noting in
Carolina’s lineup is Eric Staal, who returned from an early season injury in
Carolina’s final game of October against the Canucks. Since returning to the
line up the Hurricanes have posted a 5-1-1 record, he may not be lighting up
the scoreboards, but its obvious the ‘canes captain is a key component to his
Carolina’s defence is nothing
to worry about, but they do have an Olympian on their back end, who is starting
to look like the player he was last season. Justin Faulk is currently sitting
second on the team in scoring and leads all Hurricanes d-men with two goals and
eight assists. He is also currently on a two-game point streak in which he has
five points (1g, 4a) over that time.
Also, Cam Ward appears to be
back into form after an early season slump in October. The former- Conn Smthye
Trophy winner is 5-0-0 this month and is boasting a 1.39 GAA and a 0.946 save
percentage. He might be the reason that Carolina has been playing so well in
Game Day Prediction: Even with Carolina’s strong play in the month of November, the
Jets are still confident in themselves heading into tonight’s game after
playing a strong game against Montreal, I give the Jets a 4-2 victory.
Obvious Prediction: The Jets snap their five-period scoreless drought, going all
the way back to the first period in Ottawa. Look for Evander Kane, Mark
Scheifele or Blake Wheeler to score early in the first period.
Not So Obvious
Prediction: Adam Lowry adds a goal and an
assist to his season totals tonight. The young centre netted his first career
goal against Carolina the last time these two teams met. Can lightning strike
twice for Lowry?