The Winnipeg Jets were supposed to play the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night in Newark. But Winter Storm Stella had other ideas. Because of Snowmageddon in the Northeast US, the game was postponed and rescheduled for March 28. The Jets though remain in the New York metropolitan area as they will tangle with the New York Islanders at the Barclay Center.
The debate between who should be in the Jets lineup took a strange turn on Tuesday. Nic Petan was taking questions on the Jets official Twitter account on their #AskAJet when fans started asking him why he wasn’t in the lineup but Chris Thorburn was. The tone was sarcastic and snarky but Petan handled the situation very well.
Despite the tone, the fans have a point. Petan is a better player than Thorburn and he is served better by developing his game on the ice, rather than the press box. Thorburn is 33 years old and will be a UFA this summer and he shouldn’t be asked back by the club. Paul Maurice’s outdated thinking that Thorburn’s grit is valuable may and should cost him his job.
There was an interesting piece on Dustin Byfuglien on Sportsnet’s page this week. You can read it here. In it, Big Buff compares the talent on the Jets roster to the one in Chicago that eventually won the Stanley Cup in 2010, a team Buff was on. He also mentioned that at the start of training camp, he wanted to play with Josh Morrissey. There’s more but I’ll let you read the rest. It is worth your time if you’re a Jets fan.
Connor Hellebuyck will likely make his 15th consecutive start unless Maurice has a change of heart and will throw in Michael Hutchinson. I wonder if Hellebuyck is worn out but Maurice does have a history of riding one goalie for an extended period.
New York Islanders (33-25-11)
I’m personally looking forward to seeing Josh Ho-Sang in action. The highly skilled and somewhat brash 21-year-old does have 6 points (3G, 3A) in 8 games with the Islanders and is not afraid to speak his mind. While the latter rankles some of the old guard of hockey culture, Ho-Sang is a refreshing personality that the league sorely lacks.
St. Malo, Manitoba native Travis Hamonic is not having one of his best seasons. His 44.2% CF% is the l0west amongst the Isles defencemen and his offensive numbers have tailed off. (2G, 11A in 42 games.) Granted, Hamonic was injured early in the season and missed six weeks of action. But he’s had a difficult time finding his game since returning to the lineup.
With the Islanders in the midst of a playoff race, expect Thomas Greiss to get the start. Greiss has a 2.65 GAA and a .914 save percentage in 44 appearances this season. The Isles need the points and Greiss is the best option between the pipes.
Game Prediction: The Islanders are currently sitting in the second wildcard spot with the same amount of points as the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Isles are desperate for points. The Jets are in next year mode. Islanders win 4-2.
Obvious Prediction: There will be references to Andrew Ladd’s time in Winnipeg and it will be mentioned that he was captain of the Jets.
Not So Obvious Prediction: The game will be moved to Nassau Coliseum for old time’s sake. It may have been a barn, but I miss Nassau. Plenty of history there.