0Mar 21, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) celebrates with Jets defenseman Julian Melchiori (71) after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

JGD74: Jets Enter Game 1 Of The California Showdown

Welcome to the Jets Nation preview of tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. The Jets briefly fly into California on a two game road trip beginning tonight against the Kings. The Kings are facing the Jets after having lost both their games against the Albertan teams.

The Jets are also entering tonight’s contest sitting at .500 and look to gain some momentum for the 2017-18 season. The Kings currently sit 8 points out of the 2nd wildcard spot in the West and need to win most games her on out to have a chance for the playoffs.

Lets look at the lineups.

Winnipeg Jets (33-33-7)

LW C RW
Nikolaj Ehlers
Nikolaj Ehlers
Bryan Little
Bryan Little
Patrik Laine
Patrik Laine
Mathieu Perreault
Mathieu Perreault
Mark Scheifele
Mark Scheifele
Blake Wheeler
Blake Wheeler
Andrew Copp
Andrew Copp
Adam Lowry
Adam Lowry
Joel Armia
Joel Armia
Marko Dano
Marko Dano
Nicolas Petan
Nicolas Petan
Chris Thorburn
Chris Thorburn

There’s not a lot to say about the Jets’ forwards. The fact that Nic Petan is still stuck on the fourth line is a huge issue moving forward. As well, Chris Thorburn is in the lineup and that is an issue moving forward.

Scheifele and Wheeler both had a goal and two assists in their game against the Flyers.

We have seen Laine move to the first powerplay unit, but placed in a less than ideal position. Hopefully, Maurice will wise up and put Laine in a position to succeed.

Defensive Pairings
Julian Melchiori
Julian Melchiori
Dustin Byfuglien
Dustin Byfuglien
Josh Morrissey
Josh Morrissey
Brian Strait
Brian Strait
Mark Stuart
Mark Stuart
Nelson Nogier
Nelson Nogier

The Jets also have a mess on defense. Byfuglien and Morrissey should be the only defensemen in the line up, or even in the NHL. Nelson Nogier has been a slight light in the mess of darkness. He played just over 12 minutes in his first NHL, which was against the Flyers, and will continue on with the Jets.

Connor Hellebuyck should be the Jets’ starter.

Los Angeles Kings (34-31-7, 5th in the Pacific)

LW C RW
Trevor Lewis
Trevor Lewis
Anze Kopitar
Anze Kopitar
Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson
Tanner Pearson
Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter
Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla
Kyle Clifford
Kyle Clifford
Adrian Kempe
Adrian Kempe
Tyler Toffoli
Tyler Toffoli
Marian Gaborik
Marian Gaborik
Nic Dowd
Nic Dowd
Jordan Nolan
Jordan Nolan

The Iginla trad has not necessarily been a success for the Kings. The hope seemed to be that this would put them over the top for a push into the playoffs. Despite this, the Kings are on the outside looking in and their playoff hopes are slowly dwindling.

The Kings were held scoreless in their last game, but will look to rebound from that goose egg. Jeff Carter continues to lead the way with 60 points scored.

Defensive Pairings
Derek Forbort
Derek Forbort
Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin
Jake Muzzin
Paul Ladue
Paul Ladue
Brayden McNabb
Brayden McNabb
Alec Martinez
Alec Martinez

Norris winner Drew Doughty continues to lead the way on defense for the Kings, but the defense still looks underwhelming.

The other major acquisition the Kings made was in net with the trade for Ben Bishop. While, the extra security in net was nice for the Kings, it did not address their actual need: Goal scoring.

Anticipate Jonathan Quick to get the start in net for the Kings.