It’s October so it’s a little crazy to say that a game against a divisional rival is a “must win” but one look at the standings where first through to sixth place in the Central division is separated by a mere three points and each team has three losses or less after at least eight games played… Suddenly divisional games in October carry a bit more important.
And it doesn’t get any more important with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in town!
The Hawks are looking for their fifth win in a row in their first divisional game of the season. The Hawks went 6-3-0 last year against the Jets dominating at home, but only getting a win and two regulation losses in Winnipeg.
The Jets pulled in a 5-3-1 record against the Hawks because again, in the NHL everyone wins but some teams just win more.
The Hawks also have a 2 game 1-0 win in OT streak going as Jonathan Toews sunk both the Lightning and Ducks in the 3 on 3 overtime sessions. Those wins came mostly due to the work of Corey Crawford who is putting up some amazing numbers early on with a 5-2-0 record and a .943 save percentage.
Meanwhile the Jets have lost three of their past four and are at the end of their six game home stand. After a somewhat disappointing game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, the Jets played a better slightly more disciplined game against the Kings in a 4-1 loss (thank you two empty net goals for inflating that score).
Lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff
WINNIPEG JETS (5-3-1)
We’re assuming Petan draws back in after Anthony Peluso played on Tuesday.. We’re also really kinda hoping Petan is back in. No other changes beyond that as everyone is healthy with no overly known injuries.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (6-3-0)
Duncan Keith is still out (which makes Crawford’s run that much more impressive that it’s being done without the Hawks best defenseman). Also keep an eye out for Tanner Kero who is making his NHL debut tonight. Kero has six goals and eight points in seven games played in the AHL and as that league’s player of the week last week.
Game Day Prediction: We haven’t done well picking Jets wins recently, so maybe we should go the other way with it. Hawks win 4-2
Obvious Prediction: Jonathan Toews will score, Jets fans will continue long for a day the local boy plays for the local team. (Probably never to happen, but hey dreams are free…)
Not So Obvious Prediction: Mark Stuart is going to score a goal. (We said these were “not so obvious right?)