JGD 44: Looking To Make Winning A Hab(s)it

The Winnipeg Jets look to build off the momentum the gained on Tuesday from a 2-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames against a Montreal Canadiens team that has had a very strong season but are on the start of a two game road trip through Winnipeg and Minnesota and are doing so missing a lot of regulars in the lineup.

Lines courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

WINNIPEG JETS

(20-20-3 : 5th in the Central)

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Much to everyone’s dismay, Drew Stafford was put into the lucky Laine spot on Tuesday and much to everyone’s surprise, he wasn’t awful or dragging his linemates down. Scheifele wasn’t able to, but Nik Ehlers did manage to extend his points streak to four games with a secondary assist on Byfuglien’s goal (that was partly setup by Stafford.. go fig). It’s no longer the Jets top line and it’s more like a 1a and 1b type situation with the Wheeler/Little/Perreault line playing pretty well and drawing late game assignments to close things out on Tuesday.

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Don’t look now but Big Buff has two goals in his last four played and is starting to warm up a bit offensively. Between that and Trouba’s growing confidence in the offensive zone, the support from the backend couldn’t come a moment too soon.

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Helle is getting a chance to run with the #1 goalie position and so far has been pretty good (if you ignore the Buffalo game which we all would love to do for multiple reasons)

MONTREAL CANADIENS

(20-10-6 : 1st in the Atlantic)

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The Habs have won three of their last four and four of their last six, but they limp into Winnipeg for the start of a back-to-back set that sees them play the Jets tonight and the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night. They leave Montreal without six of their lineup regulars as David Desharnais, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Andrei Markov, Greg Pateryn, and Andrew Shaw will all be out of the lineup tonight with various ailments of varying degrees – Galchenyuk and Shaw for instance had been taking part in practices with the club but are not game ready as of yet.

There is also some question as to the status of Tomas Plekanic who missed the morning skate with an illness.

That said, the Canadiens still boast a formidable lineup led by Max Pacioretty who owns the team lead in goals with 19, Shea Weber on defense who has had a bit of a renaissance year with his new club and has looked at times like the dominant Weber of years past, and of course all-world goalie Carey Price.

Thankfully, Carey Price won’t be in goal tonight as the Habs named former Jet Al (Tony) Montoya to start tonight’s game, so the Jets catch a slight break there although we all know Al can be streaky good at times. Here is hoping tonight Is not one of those nights.