The Week Ahead: 2 at Home and 2 on the Road for the Jets

Hey, hey, hey! The Jets are back in the win column and all
is right with the world, right? Right? Ok, maybe not so much, but after a 42
save shutout by Connor Hellebuyck put an end to the five game losing streak,
the Jets have a chance to put a few Ws together with two more games this week
at the friendly confines of the MTS Centre before heading out to take on the cream
of the crop in the Central Division. Let’s take a look at the week ahead for
your Winnipeg Jets.

New Jersey
Devils (10-6-5, currently 5th place in the Metropolitan), Tuesday,
7pm (TSN3, TSN1290)

The Devils have won only once in their last six
games and haven’t won in regulation since beating the Sabres back on November
12th. They’ve gone to extra time in three straight games, losing in
a shootout to the Penguins, losing in OT to the Wings, and beating the Leafs in
a shootout last Wednesday. The Jets catch a bit of break on this one as the
Devils come through town missing their big summer acquisition, Taylor Hall, who
has been out since Nov 15 with a knee injury. Other than that, though, the
Devils are healthy and they’ll bring an older roster into Winnipeg. The Jets
have an average age of 25.5 (according to hockey-reference.com), whereas the
Devils sit at 28.5. If, as most expect, Connor Hellebuyck gets the nod in net
again, he will be facing a goaltender who has a very similar statline this
season: Cory Schneider has a .915SV% (as does Hellebuyck) and a 2.53GAA (Hellebuyck
– 2.57). Mike Cammalleri was awarded second star of the week after putting up four goals and eight points in three games last week.

 #Devils coach John Hynes rules Taylor Hall out tomorrow night vs. Winnipeg and then says Hall’s progress will be evaluated.

Edmonton
Oilers (12-9-2, currently 1st place in the Pacific), Thursday, 7pm
(TSN3, TSN1290)

The Oilers dropped both halves of a back-to-back
with the Arizona Coyotes but still sit atop the Pacific Division with 26 points
in 23 games. Connor McDavid leads the league with 29 points in 23 games and has
at least one point in each of the last five games. Cam Talbot has been
outstanding in net, sporting a .921SV% with a 2.45GAA and 3 shutouts on the year,
one of which came back on October 23rd when the Oilers won the only
previous meeting between the two 3-0.

 

@ St. Louis
Blues (12-7-3, currently 2nd in Central), Saturday, 6pm (SN,
TSN1290)

The Jets and Blues will face each other five times
throughout the course of the season, and they will be important games for a
Jets team that would like to prove that they can dance with the big boys. The
Blues are pretty healthy, only missing Alex Steen to concussion-like symptoms
and Joel Edmundson to an upper-body injury. They’ve gotten hot as of late,
having only lost once (to the Caps) in the last six games. Vladimir Tarasenko
leads the team with 22 points (9 goals and 13 assists), and Jake Allen has
started 17 games in net, posting a .913SV%, with a 2.36GAA and 1 shutout.

 

@ Chicago
Blackhawks (14-6-3, currently 1st in Central), Sunday, 6pm (SN,
TSN1290)

Remember the ‘statement game’, when the Jets
shutout the ‘Hawks in Winnipeg and looked like they were going to take on the
world? National media was beginning to take notice (both in Canada and the US)
and this team was ready to take the next step. That feels like a loooong time
ago, when in reality it’s been only two weeks. Since then the Jets lost five in
a row before getting back in the win column, while the Blackhawks have gone
3-2-1. Recent injuries to Captain Serious, Jonathon Toews, and now Jordan Tootoo
as well, leave this team looking a bit different, but it is unknown if either
will miss an extended period. This matchup will mark the second meeting of five
between the two clubs this season, and will be the first at the United Centre.
They’ll face each other in Chicago again in the first game after Christmas, on
December 27th.