The Jets enter today’s game still holding onto the first Wild Card spot in the west with a “true 0.500” record and 30-20-10. This is still good enough for fourth in the Central Division and fifth in the Western Conference. The Toronto Maple Leafs meanwhile sit second last in the Atlantic and third last in the east with a 23-31-5 record.
Jets lost their last game and are 4-4-2 in their last ten. Leafs are on a two game losing streak and have an ugly 1-8-1 over their last 10.
Currently SportsClubStatistics (which has flaws relying on goal differentials over shot metrics) places the Jets odds depending on the number of games the Jets win over their final 22 games:
Lines provided by DailyFaceoff.com
According to this morning skate, Dustin Byfuglien will actually be playing forward on the second line with Mark Scheifele and Drew Stafford. Michael Frolik then falls to the third line, pushing either T.J Galiardi or Anthony Peluso to the press box.
The pairings will look different than this. Byfuglien moves up front so the Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba pairs will be the Jets top four defensive pairs. Adam Pardy likely moves in on the third pair with Ben Chiarot.
Michael Hutchinson will get the start. Hutchinson has struggled lately, but if the Jets are going to push through they will need to do so on the back of their 17-7-3 and 0.920 goaltender.
Phil not-actually-the-reason-why-the-Leafs-lose Kessel leads Toronto in all facets of scoring with 22 goals, 26 assists and 48 points. Jets fans will likely recognize the third line centre for the Leafs as a major contributor to Jets 2.0 history.
Without the likes of Cody Franson, the Leafs defensive core looks a bit uglier. Hopefully this will help counter balance the Jets non-optimal line up.
So far this season, James Reimer has posted a 0.906 and Jonathan Bernier a 0.914.
Game Day Predictions: Jets always will be predicted to win. We are a Jets blog.
Obvious Predictions: After the Jets win, there will be some that believe moving Byfuglien to forward was a good move and ignore the fact that Toronto is a terrible team.
Not So Obvious Predictions: I will get a text mocking me from Cam Charron if Jets lose.
EXTRA: JERSEY GIVEAWAY DAY
The first 100 customers who come to The Pint in Winnipeg to watch the game tonight will receive a free shirt: