Photo Credit: © Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD 7 Flight Plan: Wild ‘N Out Against Minnesota

Winnipeg finally gets a taste of Division III action as they host the Minnesota Wild tonight in their final game of a three game home stand.

It’s hard to say that games in mid-to-late-ish October are “must wins” and this one certainly isn’t that, but the Jets don’t play again for almost an entire week after tonight and given how bad they looked Tuesday against the Blue Jackets, and given how they’ve had to rely on goaltending a lot more than they should in the wins they do have, a loss tonight to kick off divisional play against a Central rival would only cause more tension and unrest with the Jets faithful.

Jets Regular Season Game #7

Minnesota Wild (1-1-2)
Winnipeg Jets (3-3-0)

October 20, 2017 – Puck drop: 7:05 PM CST – Bell MTS Place
Radio: TSN 1260

Recently for the Jets…

The ran up against one of the better teams in the Eastern conference on Tuesday as they played the Columbus Blue Jackets. They had been weighed, they had been measured and after a 5-2 loss, they have been found wanting. For “reasons” they decided to go with Steve Mason in goal even though Connor Hellebuyck had a personal three game win streak going. Maurice doesn’t seem to know what exactly he wants to do with his ‘bottom six’ forwards either which kind of throws that whole “hit the ground running after the pre-season” idea out the window.

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And lest you think the issues are strictly on goaltending, that is actually far from the case and members of the national media are starting to take notice

Tonight, Brendan Lemieux (son of Claude if you didn’t know) will make his debut for the Jets while Connor Hellebuyck gets put back in goal. Hendricks, Lowry, Kulikov and Perreault are also all out with injuries.

Recently for the Wild…

The Wild have stumbled out of the gate as well to start the season but have at least managed to scrape up a pair of loser points in games against Hurricanes as well as last Saturday against the Blue Jackets in a 5-4 OT loss which was their last game action.

Minnesota is also dealing with a fair share of injuries – more so than the Jets to be honest – as Charlie Coyle, Marcus Foligno, Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter all have different ailments ranging from broken legs to sore groins. Foligno should draw into the game tonight albeit wearing a full face cage. Granlund will be a game-time decision.

Recently between the two teams…

Last March, the Jets snapped a four game losing streak to the Wild with a 5-4 win that put their season series between the two teams at 1-4-0. Before that game, in the four regulation losses, the Wild out-scored the Jets 17 to 11. Tonight is the first of four meetings between the division rivals, the next will happen in Minnesota on All Hallows Eve.

Winnipeg Jets Lines

Kyle Connor – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler
Nik Ehlers – Bryan Little – Patrik Laine
Brandon Tanev – Andrew Copp – Joel Armia
Nic Petan – Shawn Matthias – Brendan Lemieux

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Josh Morrissey – Jacob Trouba
Tobias Enstrom – Dustin Byfuglien
Tyler Myers – Ben Chiarot

Connor Hellebuyck
Steve Mason

Minnesota Wild Lines

Mikael Granlund – Mikko Koivu – Jason Zucker
Marcus Foligno – Eric Staal – Chris Stewart
Tyler Ennis – Matt Cullen – Luke Kunin
Zack Mitchell – Joel Eriksson Ek – Daniel Winnik

Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Matt Dumba
Kyle Quincey – Mike Reilly

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Devan Dubnyk
Alex Stalock