JGD 39: Jets Look to Close Out 2016 on a High Note

The Winnipeg Jets look to exit 2016 and enter 2017 on a high note as they play game 39. But to do so, they will have to face a familiar face in a New Years Eve show down with Andrew Ladd and the New York Islanders.

The Islanders look like a shell of the team from 2015-16. What was once a promising team now looks like a team in need of a rebuild, again. The Islanders are making suspect lineup decisions, they waived Jaroslav Halak and are playing 3rd liners with John Tavares.

The Jets, however, are a team on the upswing of a rebuild, with consistency being the key. If they can put together a strong 60 minute game (cliche alert), then the Jets should easily be able to win this match up. 

Lineups

Winnipeg Jets (17-18-3)

Defensive Pairings
Josh Morrissey 
Josh Morrissey
Dustin Byfuglien 
Dustin Byfuglien
Tobias Enstrom 
Tobias Enstrom
Jacob Trouba 
Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot 
Ben Chiarot
Paul Postma 
Paul Postma

Unfortunately the injury bug has struck again and in a big way. Marko Dano went down into the boards against Columbus and left with a lower body injury. Andrew Copp has been recalled as a result.

Jacob Trouba enters the game with 6 points in his last 8 games. Patrik Laine will be looking for number 20 tonight as well.

Connor Hellebuyck is expected to start in net tonight.

New York Islanders (14-15-6)

Defensive Pairings
Nick Leddy 
Nick Leddy
Travis Hamonic 
Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey 
Thomas Hickey
Johnny Boychuk 
Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan 
Calvin de Haan
Dennis Seidenberg 
Dennis Seidenberg

The Islanders have waived Halak. Repeat that in your head because that is mind boggling and a headline that no one expected to see in 2016. Thomas Greiss and JF Berube will be splitting the crease from now on.

Andrew Ladd has not performed well, just 7 goals and 4 assists in 35 games, placing him on the fourth line.

Look to Tavares to do Tavares things tonight.

Predictions

Game Prediction: Patrik Laine will score 2 goals tonight, putting him over 20. The Jets will top the Islanders 4-2.

Obvious Prediction: John Tavares will score both of the Islanders’ goals, it’s just what he does.

Not So Obvious Prediction: Dustin Byfuglien will give Andrew Ladd the track suit he forgot when he was traded, which was the real reason Ladd was traded by the way.