JGD 66: Jets Finish Up Home-stand Against Predators

The Winnipeg Jets will wrap up a five game home-stand tonight as they host the Nashville Predators at the MTS Centre. 

The Jets are currently 1-2-1 on the home-stand and are hurting in a bad way. To go along with the loss of captain Andrew Ladd via trade, but are also without forwards Bryan Little and Nik Ehlers due to injury.

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They’ll also be without Joel Armia tonight as he sits out with a lower-body injury sustained last game against the Edmonton Oilers. The Jets called up Scott Kosmachuk on emergency basis to fill the void Armia left. 

This will be the fifth and final meeting between these two division rivals. Each team has won two games of the season series so far. The most recent being a 4-1 Predators win back on January 21st. 

The Jets depth has been challenged all season, but it has been strained even more so the last couple of weeks with the injuries and sending their best goaltender back to the Manitoba Moose. Head coach Paul Maurice says to expect more games like the 2-1 loss to the Oilers going forward. 

That’s not in the sense of losing (although that’s been the case more often than not lately), but in the sense of the games being close and tight. 

With the Jets’ playoff hopes all but officially gone, they don’t have much to play for this season anymore. However, it gives the Jets the opportunity to get some prospects into the lineup. Josh Morrissey made his NHL debut last game against Edmonton, now Scott Kosmachuk will get his chance tonight. 

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LINEUPS

Courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff.

Winnipeg Jets (27-33-5)

Jets O

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As stated before, Scott Kasmachuk will enter the lineup after being called up from the Moose on emergency basis to replace the injured Joel Armia. However, Kosmachuk will play on the third line, while Marko Dano will get a shot on the second line. 

Scheifele has been a God-send for the Jets as of late. He’s recorded seven points (six goals, one assist) in the last four games. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to carry the team to more wins. 

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Jets D

Jacob Trouba returns to the lineup tonight after missing last game. 

Dustin Byfuglien has been keeping up his strong play, recording three points (one goal, two assists) in the last four games. 

Jets G

It’s not yet confirmed, but it’s likely that Pavalec will make this third straight start tonight. Pavalec has played pretty well as of late, to his credit. He’s stopped 55 of 59 shots (.932 save percentage) while going 1-1-0 during his last two starts. 

Nashville Predators (33-21-12)

Preds O

The Predators are currently on a 12-game point streak (8-0-4). During that time, Filip Forsberg has been on an insane tear, recording 16 points (11 goals, 5 assists) during those 12 games. 

Mike Ribeiro (1 goal, 12 assists) and Craig Smith (5 goals, 7 assists) have also been hot during the Predators point streak. 

Preds D

Shea Weber has been leading the way for the Preds defensive unit, recording 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in his last 3 games played. 

Preds G

Pekka Rinne has regained his form at the right time and will most likely get the start tonight for the Preds. He’s won five of his last six starts, posting a 1.97 GAA and a .941 save percentage. 

PREDICTIONS

Game Day Prediction: The Jets will need to play a very tightly structured game to stay with the Predators tonight, I don’t think it will be enough, though. Predators take this one 3-1. 

Obvious Prediction: Filip Forsberg will obviously give the Jets trouble tonight and most likely keep his hot streak going. 

Not so Obvious Prediction: Kosmachuk will record his first NHL point tonight. It’s good to stay hopeful, right?