1
Photo Credit: © Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

JGD 79: Looking To Filibuster A Senators Playoff Bid

Hey, in case you haven’t noticed – and judging by the angst and apathy on social media, you haven’t – the Jets have won their last three games and are threatening to make it four tonight against the Ottawa Senators!

Actually, maybe it’s that winning when it really doesn’t “matter” any more this season that’s partly the cause of that angst and anxiety. The added points sure isn’t helping their chances for a better draw in the draft lottery even if the wins are somewhat enjoyable as the comeback OT win Thursday night against the Ducks was.

The Jets have a chance though to play a “meaningful” game in April with some possible playoff implications though even if it is one sided. The Sens are still fighting to clinch a playoff spot and while they have the highest amount of points of the teams in the East who haven’t clinched, they’ve lost their last three games and collars are starting to tighten a bit in the nation’s capital.

Don’t think for a second that thought is lost on the Jets and they will do everything to make life even more difficult for the Sens.

LINEUPS

Winnipeg Jets (36-35-7)
Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

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

Nothing changes which is great if you’re Chris Thorburn and Chris Tanev, but not so much if you’re Marko Dano. Perreault continues to remain the hottest of all Jets with points in seven of his last eight games played (4 goals, 7 assists in that time). Let’s not forget about Scheifele as well who has a point in 16 of his last 20 games (5 goals, 20 assists) and finally notched his career high 30th goal against the Ducks.

Defensive Pairings
Josh Morrissey 
Josh Morrissey
Jacob Trouba 
Jacob Trouba
Julian Melchiori 
Julian Melchiori
Dustin Byfuglien 
Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart 
Mark Stuart
Nelson Nogier 
Nelson Nogier

Did you know that with a goal and two assists in Thursday’s game against Anaheim, it was Dustin Byfuglien’s first three point game of the season? Feels like he should have a few more of those right?

Speaking of points, Jets defensemen tallied 3 total points in the month of March which was good for third in the league in that category. While they’ve had issues getting the puck out of their zone and keeping it out of their net, the added offense has been somewhat encouraging to see.

In goal, Connor Hellebuyck gets the start tonight. His last two starts haven’t gone overly well for him having been chased away from the game against the Wild after giving up four goals, and then giving up five goals against four days later against the Los Angeles Kings. In his last seven starts, he’s only managed to post a save percentage north of .900 once.

Yikes.

Ottawa Senators (41-26-9)
Lines courtesy Dailyfaceoff.com

LW C RW
Zack Smith 
Zack Smith
Derick Brassard 
Derick Brassard
Mark Stone 
Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel 
Ryan Dzingel
Kyle Turris 
Kyle Turris
Bobby Ryan 
Bobby Ryan
Mike Hoffman 
Mike Hoffman
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 
Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Tom Pyatt 
Tom Pyatt
Viktor Stalberg 
Viktor Stalberg
Chris Kelly 
Chris Kelly
Tommy Wingels 
Tommy Wingels

Ottawa does get a bit of good news on the forward front as Alex Burrows should be back. The Senators have stalled out a bit offensively only scoring a single goal in two of their last three games but that’s somewhat fitting with their offense for the season as they rank 22nd in the league in goals per game with 2.5 and their power play is actually a shade worse than Winnipeg’s at 17.6% compared to the Jets even 18%

Defensive Pairings
Fredrik Claesson 
Fredrik Claesson
Erik Karlsson 
Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf 
Dion Phaneuf
Cody Ceci 
Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki 
Mark Borowiecki
Chris Wideman 
Chris Wideman

Defense is where the Sens have been solid all season and this past month they’ve also helped carry a lot of the goal production as well. Remember how we just said the Jets defense has been chipping in points this past month? So too have the Sens defensemen who actually rank just ahead of the Jets with 34 points tallied in the month of March.

That’s where the good news ends for the Sens though as Erik Karlsson went home yesterday and is no longer with the Sens on their road trip meaning he will not be in action tonight. They still boast a pretty good group however.

Mike Condon gets the start for the Senators tonight. His last start was also when the Sens had their last win against the Penguins on March 23rd. It was 34 save effort in an overtime win.

Predictions:

Game Prediction: It would be fitting that now – when it really doesn’t matter that that the Jets would post their first four game win streak of the year, so let’s just assume they do just that. Jets win 4-2.

Obvious Prediction: The game is on Sportsnet and features two teams that the network doesn’t hold any kinds of regional broadcast rights to… So they’ll bring up the Leafs and Oilers more than a few times.

Not So Obvious Prediction: Someone will throw a burger on the ice at Mike Condon’s feet. He’ll look up, shake his head and try to remind people “that was the other guy who no longer is on our team” .. Dion Phaneuf will quickly eat the burger after exclaiming “Finally, Curtis can’t get this one!”