It’s game two of the a six game home stand for the Winnipeg Jets as the St. Louis Blues come into town for a Central Division clash. The puck drops at 2 pm at MTS Centre and can be seen on TSN 3 and heard on TSN 1290.
The Jets are off to a 4 win and 1 loss start and looking for their third win in a row after taking out the Rangers in New York and the Flames in the home opener. The Blues sport the same win / loss record as the Jets and are entering game five of a six game road trip that so far has worked out well for them going 3 and 1 with wins against Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
The Jets went 2-2-1 against the Blues last season and each contest was seemingly a physical and bitter affair with the odd dramatic turn of spirit crushing events. Interestingly enough after the March 10th contest when the unmentionable goal happened, the Jets reeled off two wins against the Blues including a 1-0 Ondrej Pavelec shutout that helped propel the Jets into the post-season.
Focusing on the here and now however, the Blues are again led by offensive standouts Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko who each both have 3 goals and 7 points. Troy Brouwer – he of a couple of 20+ goal seasons the last two years with the Washington Capitals – and David Backes help form a second line that is equal parts gifted offensively and physically tough to play against.
Paul Stastny was injured Friday in Vancouver and has returned to St. Louis, so that will be at least one less threat the Jets will have to deal with.
The Blues defense is solid as is always when you talk about a Ken Hitchcock coached team with Colton Parayko leading the way.
Rookie Colton Parayko is a big lanky kid who moves the puck well and at the moment leads Blues defensemen in goals with 2. (Hooray for small sample sizes!) He is also excelling while having a less-than-ideal pairing with of Carl Gunnarsson.
He’s the Blues version of Jacob Trouba right down to the having an anchor for a linemate.
Your Jets meanwhile will be looking for a better start to their game than they had in their last afternoon contest almost a week ago in Brooklyn. As the Blues will be playing their third game in four days on the road, a good physical start to the game by the Jets should help their cause even this early in the season.
Winnipeg Jets (4-1-0)
Lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Paul Maurice was shy when it came to naming his goalie on Saturday, but it likely will be Pavelec who has looked strong in his last two starts and for the first time this season isn’t facing a back-to-back situation.
Ben Chariot was skating with the team on Saturday as well and was still questionable leading into today’s game. The Jets may just side with caution and keep him out one more game.
St. Louis Blues (4-1-0)
The Blues have a two-headed goalie monster of their own although chances are they will be running with Jake Allen as much as they can as long as he plays well which he did against the Canucks on Friday night.
And again, scratch Stastny off your list. He’s back in St. Louis nursing a lower body injury.