JGD 31: Time To Stop The Central Division Blues

The Winnipeg Jets return home and are starting to get in desperate need of wins against Central division rivals. They have a chance to start picking up those wins tonight against the St. Louis Blues.

The Jets lost their last time out in Chicago, although you can argue it was a decent effort given it was the second time in the span of a week the club was on the road for the second game of a back to back. Now with a bit of rest, they face a Blues side that is now out on the road after a sub-par 2-3-0 home stand that was capped off with a loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

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The Blues are a very solid 8-4-2 on the road this season and the Jets are looking for their fifth win in a row on home ice, and both teams have been playing .500 hockey over their last 10 games, so something’s gotta give!

LINES

Provided by DailyFaceoff.com.

WINNIPEG (14-14-2)

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No major changes for the Jets here as the biggest two questions the team faces is if the toptwo lines can start contributing at the same time and if either of the bottom two lines can start chipping in anything at all. Mark Schiefele did sit out the Jets last practice but should be good to go tonight.

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Unlike the forwards, big switch up here as Jacob Trouba looks to be getting some time with Dustin Byfglien on the top pairing which is made more interesting by the news of the leaked contract demands allegedly made by Trouba.

No time like the present to prove your worth that money kid!

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Expect Connor Hellebuyck to get the call in goal tonight.

ST.LOUIS (17-10-4)

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The duo of Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen still leads the Blues offense. David Backes helped lead the Blues attack the last time these two teams met with a couple of goals in a 4-3 Blues win back in November 16 and also happens to be on a four game points streak. Oh and Patrik Berglund will return to the Blues lineup tonight as he comes back from a shoulder injury.

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The Blues feature the best penalty kill in the NHL at a league best 87.7 percent. They are still one of the better defensive teams overall in the league – as you would expect from a Ken Hitchcock coached club.

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No word on who starts as of press time, but the Blues have been riding with Jake Allen the last while as he has a 13-7-2 record with a .927 save percentage.

PREDICTIONS 

Gameday prediction: We’re going for the reverse jinx and calling a 4-2 Blues win no matter how badly we need the Jets to win. 

Obvious prediction: Tarasenko will terrorize the Jets with his constant threats to dangle around everyone and score.

Not-so Obvious Prediction: Mark Stuart is due to make a really good defensive play and perhaps even make a play that stops a potential Blues goal.