Last week the Winnipeg Jets had a bit of a challenge on the road playing three Eastern Conference teams and went 0-2-1 in those three games.
This week they’ll play division rivals Chicago and St. Louis (the Blues being a home and home set this coming weekend) but before any of that they get a quick stopover at home to host the surprisingly not all that bad Vancouver Canucks hockey club.
Jets Regular Season Game #31
Vancouver Canucks (14-12-4)
Winnipeg Jets (17-8-5)
December 11, 2017 – Puck drop: 6:00 PM CST
MTS Bell Place – Winnipeg, MB
TV: TSN 3 & Sportsnet Pacific
Radio: TSN 1290
Recently for the Jets…
It’s not often an OT loss is a positive sign for a hockey club, but given what the Jets had done in both Detroit and Sunrise, taking the league-leading Lightning to overtime and being competitive through most of the game was a step in the right direction for the Jets who are suddenly in a bit of a slump. To make matters worse, the Jets are going to be without Dustin Byfuglien who is out with a lower body injury. The silver lining in all that is that Tucker Poolman will finally get a hance to get on the ice again for the Jets, but without Buff and Enstrom the Jets defense is going to be thin and Jacob Trouba suddenly is going to have to be the man carrying the load on the blueline. Now is as good a time for him to really tack on value to that future contract he’s going to sign.
Recently for the Canucks…
Vancouver has been consistently inconsistent for most of the season with modest little stretches alternating between winning and losing. They’ve lost their last two games, but before that they had rattled off three wins in a row, and before that lost three in a row which they did after going a stretch of winning three of their previous five games played. They actually played a fairly good road game in Calgary on Saturday night before falling apart in the third period and giving up three unanswered to lose to the Flames by a 4-2 score. Right now the biggest issue for the Canucks is injuries. Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter and Sven Baertschi aren’t exactly top tier forwards, but losing them both is a big blow to the Canucks already somewhat questionable depth. The Canucks are a scrappy bunch and still can lean on both the Sedins as well as super rookie Brock Boeser who leads the team in both goals and points, but after that the Canucks need to lean on defense and goaltending to carry them through games which as we’ve seen all season from them can be hit or miss.
Recently between both teams…
This is the second of three games between the Jets and Canucks, the Jets having beaten Vancouver in Vancouver by a 4-2 score back on October 12th. The Jets have won seven of their last eight games against the Canucks and have collected points in eight of their last ten played dating back to 2015. Connor Hellebuyck beat the Canucks for the first time in that early season meeting, stopping 30 of 32 shots.
Winnipeg Jets Lines
Kyle Connor – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers – Bryan Little – Patrik Laine
Andrew Copp – Adam Lowry – Brandon Tanev
Mathieu Perreault – Matt Hendricks – Joel Armia
Josh Morrissey – Jacob Trouba
Dmitry Kulikov – Tyler Myers
Ben Chiarot – Tucker Poolman
Vancouver Canucks Lines
Nikolay Goldobin – Markus Granlund – Brock Boeser
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Loui Eriksson
Nic Dowd – Sam Gagner – Thomas Vanek
Brendan Gaunce – Michael Chaput – Jake Virtanen
Alexander Edler – Chris Tanev
Michael Del Zotto – Derrick Pouliot
Ben Hutton – Troy Stecher
Both the Jets and Canucks are dealing with some key injuries now and both teams have struggled over the last week or so to put forth complete 60 minute efforts. The Jets though still would appear – on paper- to have more talent at the ready and even if the offense struggles, it shouldn’t take much to put away the Canucks tonight. Jets win 3-1