This wasn’t a fun week for the Winnipeg Jets. Three straight losses at home plus an injury to Toby Enstrom has seen this team go into a tailspin. With the playoffs all but out of reach, (mathematically they’re still alive, realistically, they’re out) the Jets hope a three game road trip can ease some pain. That trip begins in Music City where the Nashville Predators await.
It may be time to give the likes of Nic Petan and Marko Dano more ice time to see what they can do. With the postseason all but out of reach, the Jets need to start thinking about next season and give some overlooked players some action. Petan and Dano would be better served playing with other skill players in the top nine but even if they aren’t part of the Jets future, then showcase them to other teams as trade bait.
Jacob Trouba missed practice on Sunday after suffering gash on his forehead following a fight with Sam Bennett on Saturday night. Trouba did travel with the team to Nashville where he will be a game time decision.
Ben Chiarot took two bad penalties on Saturday and he may see the press box for this one with Julian Melchiori drawing in. Chiarot has been nursing an injury as well so it wouldn’t be a shock if he sits.
Connor Hellebuyck will likely get the start but with a game the next night, Michael Hutchinson should see crease time on this trip. When the Jets are officially eliminated, Eric Comrie could get a look with the big club.
Filip Forsberg is becoming one of the elite goal scorers in the NHL. The Swede leads the Preds with 27 goals which includes 8 power play goals and 8 game winning tallies. With Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson joining Forsberg as linemates, Nashville has a formidable top line that the Jets need to contain.
Despite a slow start, P.K. Subban is making an impact in Tennessee. His 55.2% CF% is top among Nashville blueliners and this is a team that features Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm on defence. Subban can be an agitator but he’s also highly skilled and a strong puck moving defenceman that every team needs.
The Preds will go as far as Pekka Rinne will take them. His .915 save percentage is solid, but he may have to raise it come playoff time. Rinne has battled consistency issues in the past but when he’s on his game, he can be one of the best in the league.
Game Prediction: The Predators aren’t quite locked in to a playoff spot yet and they want to assure their place in Lord Stanley’s tournament. The Jets are sadly fading. Nashville wins 4-1.
Obvious Prediction: Expect Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks mentions and quotes throughout. It is Nashville after all.
Not So Obvious Prediction: Nic Petan will score the lone Jets goal. Hey why not.