It seems like it was just yesterday that we at Jets Nations were getting excited for a playoff push by our beloved Winnipeg Jets… Now many fans are looking at the standings while images of a potential Auston Matthews dances in their heads.
We take a look at the game as the Winnipeg Jets play host to the New York Islanders.
The Jets look to turn around their continual freefall, with the Jets posting a 3-6-1 record over their last ten games. The Islanders meanwhile try to pick up speed heading towards the playoffs and keep their distance from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Jets continue pushing Alex Burmistrov, Marko Dano, Adam Lowry, and Joel Armia into top-nine scoring roles. While coaches and players do not tank, the team is taking a look at some youth to get a solid grasp at what the Jets have going forward for the next few years.
The Jets are running with six defenders, and no one in the pressbox. Expect the Jets’ top defensive prospects, Joshua Morrissey, to get a call-up near the end of the season with the Jets likely starting training camp a bit early.
It’s been a tale of struggling goaltenders for the Jets. Both Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson are on pace to post career lows in save percentage, with 900 and 906 respectively. For today’s really odd, random statistic: Hutchinson has a better save percentage for all minutes this season than he does when looking at 5v5 exclusively. That’s a rarity.
New York (34-20-7)
This is the New York Islander forwards. This is what better depth looks like. This includes Shane Prince, a solid RFA who was sold for peanuts. Would have been a nice add for the Jets. John Tavares leads the Islanders in goals and points, which should come to no surprise for most hockey fans.
This is the New York Islanders defenders. It includes future Jet Travis Hamonic who will be traded for Tyler Myers (please Chevy! Find a way!). Manitoban, and draft classmate of Morrissey, Ryan Pulock will get to play for some family, which should be fun. Keep an eye out for his shot, as he has quite the slapper.
In departing from recent Islander tradition, the team has received goaltending support, with Jaroslav Halak posting a 919 save percentage and Thomas Greiss a 931 save percentage. Must be nice…
Give Hutchinson+Pavelec the Halak+Greiss save percentage and the Jets would have allowed 24 less goals against. On average a 24 GA reduction works out to about 4 more wins… not enough to be a contender, but would put the Jets a lot nearer last years performance.
Game Day Prediction: Jets 3 – Islanders 2
Obvious Prediction: There will be hockey played for most of the game, with the odd exception of while Chris Thorburn and Anthony Peluso take to the ice.
Not So Obvious Prediction: Cheveldayoff decides to speed up the process and swap Hamonic and Myers during the second intermission.