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JNGD.33 Flight Plan: Back To Back Blues

A few short weeks ago, the Jets and Blues were in a neck and neck battle for first place in both the division and the conference and this weekend’s home and home set loomed large. Since then both teams have struggled a bit which has taken a little bit of the shine from this critical weekend, but good, competitive hockey still awaits.

Jets Regular Season Game #31

Winnipeg Jets (18-9-5)
@
St. Louis Blues (21-10-2)

December 16, 2017 – Puck drop: 6:00 PM CST
Scottrade Center – St. Louis, MO
TV: CITY – Radio: TSN 1290

Recently for the Jets…

Look, we don’t like it when the Jets stumble and falter any more than you do, but the truth is this team has some issues. Not so much scoring, but for certain on defense which is what will happen when you’re missing two of your best defenders like the Jets are in Byfuglien and Enstrom. This kind of stretch of games will also happen when your team continues to be ill-prepared to start games off well and come out with any kind of effort to push play or work harder than the other team such as the Jets have. This kind of run is also what happens when you have a coaching staff who keeps trying to do the same thing over and over again. In the second and third period of the game against Chicago, Paul Maurice juggled lines – Ehlers with Wheeler and Scheifele on one line while Perreault joined Little and Laine on another – but the very next day in practice he had the lines that he’s used over the last handful of games back together. We’ll see if doing the same thing over again brings a different result than it has in four of the last five games.

Recently for the Blues…

This is the fourth and final game of the Blues most recent home-stand and it has not gone overly well for them as they have had some issues of their own, mainly in the scoring department. They started off the home stand by squeaking out an OT win over the Buffalo Sabres before dropping the next two games to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks. While two losses in a row usually isn’t a huge deal, it’s the fact that the Blues were about six minutes away from being shutout in back to back games that has fans and the club concerned. The Blues power play is ranked 26th in the NHL which considering the talent they have at their disposal is quite astonishing. When the Blues do score however, they do it in bunches. Of their last 11 wins, seven of them have seen them score four or more goals in a game. One of the things the Blues have been really good at all season though is defense. They are in the league’s top ten for fewest goals given up.

Recently between both teams…

This is the first of five meetings between the two divisional rivals who are going to see plenty of each other over the next 24 hours. Last season the Jets were a perfect 5-0-0 against St. Louis marking the first time in franchise history that the Jets had ever beaten one club five times in one season. Three of those five wins saw the Jets score five goals. Connor Hellebuyck is 2-1-0 in his career against the Blues with a .935 save percentage.

Winnipeg Jets Lines

Lines courtesy of 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

St. Louis Blues Lines

LW C RW
Vladimir Sobotka
VLADIMIR SOBOTKA
Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY
Vladimir Tarasenko
VLADIMIR TARASENKO
Alex Steen
ALEX STEEN
Brayden Schenn
BRAYDEN SCHENN
Dmitrij Jaskin
DMITRIJ JASKIN
Scottie Upshall
SCOTTIE UPSHALL
Patrik Berglund
PATRIK BERGLUND
Ivan Barbashev
IVAN BARBASHEV
Magnus Paajarvi
MAGNUS PAAJARVI
Kyle Brodziak
KYLE BRODZIAK
Chris Thorburn
CHRIS THORBURN
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Joel Edmundson
JOEL EDMUNDSON
Colton Parayko
COLTON PARAYKO
Jay Bouwmeester
JAY BOUWMEESTER
Robert Bortuzzo
ROBERT BORTUZZO
Carl Gunnarsson
CARL GUNNARSSON
Vince Dunn
VINCE DUNN
GOALIES
Jake Allen
JAKE ALLEN
Carter Hutton
CARTER HUTTON

Gameday Prediction

The Blues are having issues scoring and the Jets are having issues keeping the puck out of their net right now. Winnipeg has also seemed to be a nice little cure for teams that had been struggling in games leading up to facing the Jets. All of which doesn’t bode well for the Jets tonight. Blues win 5-2.