After an amazing All-Star weekend, it’s time to get back to the grind.
For the Winnipeg Jets, that means a date with the Dallas Stars at the MTS Centre.
The Jets will continue a six-game home-stand, in which they are 1-3-0 so far. They lost the first three games before Nik Ehlers and the Jets exploded on the Arizona Coyotes in a 5-2 win before the All-Star break.
It was a great showing by the Jets, but the playoff picture is getting dimmer and dimmer. They currently sit 9 points out of the final wild card spot currently held by the Nashville Predators with three other teams in between them.
If the Jets have any hope of making a run at the playoffs, they need to start picking up points consistently starting now.
How consistently? The Jets will need to shoot for earning approximately 7 out of every 10 points possible going forward to put themselves in a position to possibly make the playoffs.
A good start to that goal would be getting two points tonight against the Dallas Stars, but that’s easier said than done. The Stars have won the two previous meetings against the Jets (a 6-3 win on Nov. 12 and a 2-1 shootout win on Jan. 7, both in Dallas).
However, Dallas has gone 3-6-2 in the month of January, so the Jets are catching them at an opportunistic time.
Courtesy of Daily Faceoff, of course.
Winnipeg Jets (22-24-3)
It looks like Perreault and Lowry will play tonight after missing time before the All-Star break.
The newly formed top line of Ehlers-Scheifele-Wheeler got off to a hot start. The line combined for 7 points in the Jets 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes. Ehlers recorded his first career hat-trick. Ehlers also has 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in his last 4 games.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be, because Nik ‘Cheese Danish’ Ehlers is SUPERB AT HOCKEY.
Byfuglien went into his All-Star appearance red-hot. He’s recorded 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last four games.
Tyler Myers has 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) in 2 games against the Stars this season.
Hellebuyck will make his 20th start in the last 22 games tonight. He stopped 34 of 36 shots in the Jets 5-2 win over the Coyotes.
Hellebuyck started the last game against Dallas, stopping 23 of 24 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss.
Dallas Stars (31-14-5)
Tyler Seguin has been held without a point during the Stars’ last 4 games.
Jason Spezza has been leading the way for the Stars, recording 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) during their last 4 games. Patrick Sharp also has 3 assists int he last 4 games.
The Stars may still be without Jordie Benn tonight. He hasn’t played since Jan. 16 but may be a game-time decision tonight.
John Klingberg has 2 assists in his last four games and has 40 points (6 goals, 34 assists) on the season, putting him third overall in the NHL among defensemen behind Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson.
Antti Niemi is expected to start tonight, but it is not yet confirmed.
Niemi has started the last 3 games for the Stars, going 2-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA and a .906 save percentage.
Game Day Prediction: This is a tough one to call, but for whatever reason I feel confident. Jets win 3-2 in overtime.
Obvious Prediction: Hellebuyck will head, shoulders, knees and toes. As he’s done all season.
Not so Obvious Prediction: Ehlers has another multi-point game.