JGD 1: Jets open the new season in Boston

The Winnipeg Jets are back in action for a new season. The Jets will open the 2015-2016 hockey year in Boston against a Zdeno Chara-less Bruins.

The new season also offers a fresh start for the two teams, one that missed the playoffs while the other went without a single postseason win.

The Jets fly into Boston with some new faces from last year. 

LINEUPS

Lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff

WINNIPEG JETS

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The Jets bottom three lines carry five faces that were not part of their forward line up at last year’s season opener, and four that did not dress regularly for the Jets. The Jets hope the injection of youth and skill from Nikolaj Ehlers, Nicolas Petan, Alexander Burmistrov, and Andrew Copp will push the Jets forward from last year.

For a comprehensive breakdown on the Jets four lines and what to expect from these players this year, click here.

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There’s also a tonne of change in the Jets defensive core from last year. Dustin Byfuglien starts off the year right in the position he’s better suited for and performs exceptionally in. Big Buff’s partner, Ben Chiarot, was a mid-season addition after earning a full time spot with a dominant call-up performance with the Jets last year. The Jets exchange the physical Zach Bogosian with the rangy Tyler Myers.

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Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start, and we may see Michael Hutchinson open the next day with the Jets on a back-to-back. Pavelec will be looking to repeat a career high 0.920 save percentage performance, although most Jets fans are hoping for at least 0.915.

Opposition

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The Jets will need to keep an eye on the top-six heavy Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron is an elite shutdown centre, and expect him to see a lot of the Jets’ own Ladd, Little, and Wheeler. Paul Maurice will likely try to get the Adam Lowry line then against David Krejci as much as possible.

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The top end of the Bruins defensive lineup is quite different from years past. No Zdeno Chara, no Dougie Hamilton, and no Johnny Boychuk.

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Tuuka Rask has been confirmed as the starter. Rask is looking to bounce back from a 0.922 performance last year, which was the second lowest since 2010-2011.

PREDICTIONS

Game Day Prediction: Jets start the season strong, come off a win.

Obvious Prediction: Jets fans will be super excited by the performance of their rookies.

Not So Obvious Prediction: The Jets dominate on the shot clock, but not on the scoreboard. They struggle to score one past Rask until late in the third period with a nail biting comeback.