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JNGD.32 Flight Plan: Jets Begin Run Of Division Games Tonight

Tonight kicks off a stretch of four games against Central division rivals for the Winnipeg Jets. The Blackhawks are in town tonight, then it’s a home and home series against the St. Louis Blues before hitting the road against the Nashville Predators. It may seem like we’re always saying “this is a big test…” but this next week or so of games goes a long way in figuring out just where this Jets team stands in its own division.

Jets Regular Season Game #31

Chicago Blackhawks (15-11-5)
@
Winnipeg Jets (18-8-5)

December 14, 2017 – Puck drop: 7:00 PM CST
MTS Bell Place – Winnipeg, MB
TV: TSN 3 – Radio: TSN 1290

Recently for the Jets…

They didn’t look their sharpest at times and you can even say they had the benefit of a couple of bad goals let in by Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, but the bottom line is that the Jets snapped their three game losing streak on Monday night against Vancouver. Home skating has very much agreed with the Jets as they have a 11-2-1 record at Bell MTS Place this season. Injuries however are starting to catch up with the club however especially on defense. The team is already missing Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien and yesterday Tyler Myers didn’t skate at practice which the team made up for by putting Marko Dano in a red defenseman jersey. As it is, Paul Maurice stated Myers will play tonight. The next four games against division rivals is going to be a benchmark of sorts for the Jets to see where this team is really at. So far playing the likes of the Wild and Stars, the Jets divisional record is 5-1-0 which will go a long way in helping the Jets make the playoffs.

Recently for the Blackhawks…

It has been a bit of an up and down season in the Windy City, but Chicago has recently put together a modest three game win streak as they head into play tonight, although it hasn’t come without quite a bit of a struggle which can be seen as both a positive and negative since the Hawks aren’t outplaying their opposition by any stretch, but they are finding ways to win. Special teams wise, the Hawks are very good on the penalty kill with an 83.8% mark good for fifth overall in the league, but a shockingly 29th in the league on the power play with a 15.2% success rate. On a team with offensive stars such as Saad, Kane, Toews and rookie standout Alex DeBrincat, that almost feels like it should be a massive typo and not actual fact.

Recently between both teams…

Tonight is the first of five games between the Hawks and Jets. Last season the Jets seems to have Chicago’s number going a rather surprising 4-1-0. The season before that (2015-16) the Hawks dominated the Jets in that season series with a similar 4-1-0 record. Connor Hellebuyck started in all five games against Chicago and in his career has a 4-2-0 record with a .948 save percentage and a shutout which he picked up against the Hawks back in November 2016.

Winnipeg Jets Lines

Lines courtesy Dailyfaceoff.com

LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR
Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE
Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER
Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS
Bryan Little
BRYAN LITTLE
Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE
Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP
Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY
Brandon Tanev
BRANDON TANEV
Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT
Matt Hendricks
MATT HENDRICKS
Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY
Jacob Trouba
JACOB TROUBA
Dmitry Kulikov
DMITRY KULIKOV
Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS
Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT
Tucker Poolman
TUCKER POOLMAN
GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
Steve Mason
STEVE MASON

Chicago Blackhawks Lines

LW C RW
Brandon Saad
BRANDON SAAD
Jonathan Toews
JONATHAN TOEWS
Alex DeBrincat
ALEX DEBRINCAT
Nick Schmaltz
NICK SCHMALTZ
Artem Anisimov
ARTEM ANISIMOV
Patrick Kane
PATRICK KANE
Ryan Hartman
RYAN HARTMAN
Vince Hinostroza
VINCE HINOSTROZA
Patrick Sharp
PATRICK SHARP
Lance Bouma
LANCE BOUMA
Tommy Wingels
TOMMY WINGELS
John Hayden
JOHN HAYDEN
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Duncan Keith
DUNCAN KEITH
Jordan Oesterle
JORDAN OESTERLE
Connor Murphy
CONNOR MURPHY
Brent Seabrook
BRENT SEABROOK
Gustav Forsling
GUSTAV FORSLING
Jan Rutta
JAN RUTTA
GOALIES
Corey Crawford
COREY CRAWFORD
Anton Forsberg
ANTON FORSBERG

Gameday Prediction

As mentioned the Hawks are starting to find their stride as a club so tonight is likely a bigger game for them than it is the Jets. One also can’t help but shake the feeling the Jets are a bit overdue for a letdown at home… Blackhawks win 3-1.