We’ve had our fun the last couple of weeks as we’ve watched the Jets beat up on also-ran hockey clubs such as Edmonton and Buffalo, but tonight starts a two game set on the road where the Jets will play tough divisional rivals who will no doubt be aiming to put up a win and send Winnipeg a message that they aren’t to be considered out of the race quite yet.
Tonight, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks that get their turn against the Winnipeg Jets.
Winnipeg Jets (26-11-7)
Chicago Blackhawks (21-16-6)
January 12, 2018 – Puck drop: 7:30 PM CST
United Center – Chicago, Il.
TV: TSN3 – Radio: TSN 1290
Recently for the Jets…
Jets keep winning, Jets keep winning… pic.twitter.com/gzsXWYnTkT
— Murat (@WPGMurat) January 10, 2018
The Jets have won their last three games and overall six of their last seven played which has given them an ever so slight gap with the Central Division. Tonight kicks off back to back games against division rivals that aren’t exactly challenging for the Jets lead in the division, but are still lurking in the playoff race so you have to imagine the Jets would like to keep them pushed down in the standings. Captain Blake Wheeler enters tonight’s game as one of the hottest forwards in the NHL with a seven game point streak. Kyle Connor is coming off a three point effort against the Sabres. Patrik Laine has seven points (a goal and six assists) in his last six games played. Mathieu Perreault has points in four of his last five games played. This team simply put has been some kind of awesome lately and we ask that you don’t wake us up from this amazing dream quite yet.
Recently for the Blackhawks…
Chicago is 4-3-1 since the Christmas break and while they’ve enjoyed success against lesser teams such as Edmonton and Ottawa, they’ve struggled against teams higher than them in the standings. They’ve been consistently inconsistent save for Patrick Kane who leads the Hawks with 18 goals and 45 points so far this season. Their power play has been abysmal so far this season and is ranked 26th in the league at an even 16% although the power play unit did have four goal night in that 8-1 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. They’ve also struggled a bit without goaltender Corey Crawford who remains out with an upper body injury, although Anton Forsberg and 32 year old rookie Jeff Glass have filled in ok at times.
Recently between the two teams…
The Jets did go 4-1-0 last season against Chicago, but started this season with a rather embarrassing 5-1 loss to them at home back on December 14 in which the Hawks pounced on the Jets early and were up 3-0 before the first period was barely half over as it was one of the very few games Connor Hellebuyck has struggled in. Tonight is the second of four meetings between the clubs and they do not play again until mid-March.
Winnipeg Jets Lines
Kyle Connor – Blake Wheeler – Patrik Laine
Mathieu Perreault – Bryan Little – Nikolaj Ehlers
Shawn Matthias – Andrew Copp – Joel Armia
Marko Dano – Matt Hendricks – Jack Roslovic
Josh Morrissey – Jacob Trouba
Dmitry Kulikov – Tyler Myers
Toby Enstrom – Dustin Byfuglien
Connor Hellebuyck – Steve Mason
Chicago Blackhawks Lines
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Vinny Hinostroza
Ryan Hartman – Nick Schmalt – Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp – Alex DeBrincat – Anthony Duclair
Lance Bouma – David Kampf – Tommy Wingels
Duncan Keith – Jordan Oesterle
Gustav Forsling – Jan Ruutu
Michal Kempny – Brent Seabrook
Jeff Glass – Anton Forsberg
Last time out the Jets fell behind early to Chicago and could never quite recover, but I don’t see that happening this time. Paul Maurice tends to have his teams ready the second time they meet in a season be it a few days after the fact or a month later… Jets will win tonight 5-3.
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& 1 hour after the final whistle goes.
Enjoy 1/2 priced wings and $3.99 mugs of Bud and Bud Light!