It’s shaping up to be quite a 24 hour period for your Winnipeg Jets.
Fresh off their Mark Scheifele hat-trick fueled win over Montreal last night and mere hours after the NHL announces that Winnipeg will host it’s first outdoor game next season, the Jets will look take down the team they’ll face at Investors Group Field in October – The Edmonton Oilers.
It’s the rubber match between the two clubs as the Jets avenged a 3-1 loss to the Oil in December with a 2-1 win in a shootout last month.
Remarkably, not only are the Jets the only team to not have a win streak of three games or more this season, but the Jets tonight are looking to gain a point for the third game in a row which is also a feat they have yet to accomplish this season.
At the very least Jets fans have to be very encouraged with the play of Mark Scheifele since Bryan Little went down with injury. With Nik Ehlers out due to an eye injury (and could be for at least a week) and Drew Stafford having a quiet game for most of the night on Saturday, Mark somehow found a way to be a team sparkplug and carry the first line offense. He has been fun to watch!
It’s remarkable how Copp and Lipon (who got his first NHL point last night as well with an assist) also seemed to perform better with Chris Thorburn taken off their 4th line. We’re not sayin.. We’re just sayin..
Trouba is listed as “probable” as of press time and if he does make it back into the lineup we hope it;s not at the expense of Josh Morrissey who had a very steady debut last night. If Trouba does draw back in, one would think Postma is the odd man out.
Pavelec started last night, so if Paul Maurice does what PoMo does, Hutch should be in the pipes tonight.
The Jets did a pretty good job back in February of shutting down Connor McDavid and keeping him off the score-sheet. They did so by challenging him physically and limiting how much time and space he had with the puck, so they’ll hope to do that again tonight. Patrick Maroon was a deadline acquisition for the Oilers and gives that forward bunch some much needed size. Between him and Zack Kassian, things could get a little rough and tumble between two teams who are playing for pride at this point.
Adam Pardy will finally get some needed playing time in Winnipeg but as a member of the Oilers after he was a waiver wire pickup at the deadline. Expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder and a “Pardy dangle” or two which actually is idea for the Jets because it never works out for him except that one time IT TOTALLY DID!!
Expect Cam Talbot in goal for this one as Brossoit’s second NHL game didn’t go overly well as he gave up six goals to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Talbot you may recall was the bane of the Jets existence when he made 44 saves in a 3-1 Oilers win over Winnipeg on December 21.
Game Day Prediction: It’s strange to say it, but both teams have been playing better hockey the last couple of weeks so this could be a very competitive game. The Jets quest to string three respectable games together falls flat again as McDavid can’t be denied this time. Oilers win 5-3
Obvious Prediction: Jets fans will be distracted with the contemplating of just who the Jets alumni team will be in October. Will Teemu be there? How is Nik Khabibulin’s glove hand? Can we consider Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley former “Jets”?
Not So Obvious Prediction: Marko Dano will get his first goal as a Jet tonight.