JGD 29: Jets Play Host to Columbus Blue Jackets

The Jets will look to get back into the win column tonight as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at MTS Centre. 

This will be the second and final meeting between these two teams. The first meeting was a 3-2 Jets win back on October 31 in Columbus. Bryan Little, Andrew Copp and Blake Wheeler had the goals for the Jets. Brandon Saad and Scott Hartnell scored for the Jackets. 

The Jets are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. A loss is nothing to be happy about, but they played a strong game against a very strong team, so it’s certainly something they can build off of coming into tonight’s game. 

Since ending that long losing streak the Jets were on through the first half of November, they have slowly, but surely, been improving their game play game by game. Still, they have had trouble putting together a full 60 minute effort and are still lacking secondary scoring. 

Yes, Chris Thorburn had the lone goal against the Blackhawks, I know. I’m talking big picture here.

Since breaking the losing streak. the Jets have gone 5-4. Simply trading wins and losses and hovering around .500. 

That being said, their last game against the Blackhawks was probably the best that they’ve looked in a loss all season. 

While the Jets have already faced the Blue Jackets this season, this will be the first time they play them with John Tortorella behind the bench. 

They’ll look to capitalize on a struggling Columbus Blue Jackets squad tonight that has lost four of their last five games. Two of the losses came in extra time though, including their most recent loss, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings. 

The Jackets were rejuvenated once Tortorella took over behind the bench, but seem to be back in a funk as of late. 

The Jackets are 6-7-1 against Western Conference teams so far this year, including 3-4 in the Central Division. The Jets are 7-4-2 against Eastern Conference teams this season, including 4-3 in the Metropolitan Division. 

LINEUPS

Both lineups courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff.

Winnipeg Jets (13-13-2)

Jets O

No line changes up front for the Jets. The AAA fourth line stays intact. 

In the last five games, Andrew Ladd leads the team with 3 goals, while Mark Scheifele (2 goals, 2 assists), Mathieu Perreault (1 goal, 3 assists), and Blake Wheeler (1 goal, 3 assists) lead all forwards with 4 points. 

Jets D

No changes to the defensive pairings as well. 

In the last five games, Dustin Byfuglien leads the entire team with 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists). Jacob Trouba has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the last 5 games. 

Jets G

Connor Hellebuyck will get the start tonight. 

Excuse me while I dance around in excitement for a bit. 

Hellebuyck is 3-0-0 with a 0.97 GAA and a .965 save percentage this season. Come get some, Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets (11-16-2)

Jackets O

Scott Hartnell and Ryan Johansen lead the Jackets in points with 20 each. Hartnell is also tied for the team lead in goals, along with Boone Jenner, with 11. 

The Jackets will also welcome back David Clarkson to the lineup after he was sidelined several weeks with a back injury. Clarkson has just 1 assist in 8 games this season. 

Jackets D

David Savard, Ryan Murray and Jack Johnson have been, by far, the biggest contributors on the Jackets blue line. 

Savard and Murray lead all Jackets defensemen with 11 points each, while Johnson leads all defensemen with 3 goals and has 8 points of his own. 

Jackets G

Sergei Bobrovsky left the game against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday with a lower-body injury and was placed on Injured Reserve today. He will be out approximately 3 weeks.

Curtis McElhinney will get the start tonight. He is 0-6-1 with a 2.77 GAA and a .905 save percentage this season. 

The Jackets brought up Joonas Korpisalo on an emergency call-up to back up McElhinney. 

PREDICTIONS

Game Day Predictions: This is one that the Jets really should take advantage of. Jets win 3-1.

Obvious Prediction: Byguflien will be very angry tonight after getting bullied around by Bryan Bickell. Look for him to commit some murders tonight. 

Not So Obvious Prediction: I had this same prediction during his first NHL start, but I really feel it’s coming. Connor Hellebuyck with his first NHL shutout tonight. 

  • #12MorrisLukowich

    I’ll give YOU an Obvious prediction:
    Hutchinson loses yet again tomorrow night in a blow out…
    Not so Obvious prediction:
    after a blow out loss to Chicago, Jets send Hutch down and bring up Comrie…
    Talk about a 1 year wonder…