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WWYDW: What Are Your Ideal Lines?

Now that the trade winds have settled and the Winnipeg Jets for better or worse have their roster pretty much set going forward for the rest of the 2018-19 season, now might be a good time to take a moment, put on your arm-chair coaches hat and figure out just what kinds of forward lines and defensive pairings the Jets should run with for the stretch drive to the playoffs.

Last night with new additions Kevin Hayes and Nathan Beaulieu joining the club, Paul Maurice ran these lines against the Minnesota Wild.

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Seeing Perreault up with the second line while Connor dropped down was a bit of a surprise and while some media member tweeted out during that morning’s skate that the TLC line was the Jets third option, it was likely more fitting as the fourth line.

(Also, can we appreciate for a moment that it wasn’t that long ago that the Jets would have one good line and then “three fourth lines” or even worse? Lowry/Tanev/Copp could be a legit third if not second line for a handful of NHL clubs right now.)

If Hayes really is a “pass first” player then would it not make sense to have a trigger man like Laine on his line? Connor/Scheifele/Wheeler has been good for the most part so maybe that didn’t need to be split up now that the Jets have a legit second center option.

Perreault with Little and Roslovic on the third line? That would work, could it not?

The forward group looks pretty good here, it might need tinkering but overall there is a lot to work with here and be excited for.

The defense? Oof. That’s another story…

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The injuries to Byfuglien and Morrissey – the Jets two best defensemen by the way – are damn near crippling to this team. Beaulieu had a nice debut last night, but he was also with Jacob Trouba who has had his own ups and downs this season, but overall remains one of the Jets most reliable defenders.

Kulikov and Myers have looked good in the past, but since Kulikov’s return, something has felt very “off” about that pairing. They’ve had ill-advised pinches, they’ve gone out of position to try and make defensive plays, their puck handling (especially in the case of Kulikov) has been suspect.

Chiarot and Niku showed a little bit of promise against the Wild last night, but both are prone to bad reads and defensive mistakes.

We don’t know when Big Buff will be back (could be in a week, could be longer) and we know for sure both Joe Morrow is out for another week or two while Morrissey may not be back until the start of the playoffs. Bogdan Kiselevich will also get a look, but who he will replace in the lineup and how he’ll be used is up for debate at the moment.

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And then there is goaltending. Connor Hellebuyck is returning to form it would seem and not a moment too soon, but how much of a work load should he get over the next month? How many games do you give Laurent Brossoit?

JetsNation, today’s WWYDW  is about you putting on your coaches hat and drawing up lines. What are your ideal forward lines? How do you handle the defense and what should the pairings be? Don’t forget the goalies as well!

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Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on either our Twitter feed or Facebook page!

  • My idea of the lines and defense pairings;
    Conner Scheifele Wheeler
    Laine Hayes Ehlers
    Roslovic Little Appleton
    Copp Lowry Tanev

    Byron Trouba
    Charoit Myers
    Niku Poolman

    I was wishing that Laine would be on a line with Hayes, but no stubborn Maurice plays his pet Perreault instead. Perreault is a black hole of wasted scoring chances who can’t complete a pass to save his life. He should sit and play Appleton. Isn’t Poolman ready to replace Kulilov yet or will he be replaced by Kiselevich first. Whats the use in drafting, developing, and seasoning players if they aren’t given a chance to play when they’re ready? Why doesn’t the media in Winnipeg question his use or misuse of his players? If changes aren’t made and soon this talented team will be bounced early in the playoffs.

  • jetsfanmike

    Connor / Scheifele / Wheeler
    Ehlers / Little / Roslovic
    Perreault / Hayes / Laine
    Copp / Lowry / Appleton

    Line #1 has been successful in the past and can be again as long as they don’t get overplayed. Their success depends on quickness to loose pucks and without that quickness, they’re pretty ineffective.

    Slot Little on the second line because he can handle defensive responsibilities against offensive lines while still producing offence. Ehlers plays very well with Little and Roslovic can be a very good complimentary player with those two.

    Hayes is a passer and Laine’s best attribute is his shot, and Perreault is there for puck retrieval. Also, slot these guys third to try to get easier match ups.

    Copp and Lowry play well together in a shutdown roll and typically have very good puck possession numbers, but can’t really be counted on for offence. Appleton is a very smart forward who will also fit in better with the other centres if Maurice wants to juggle his lines, but he’ll also play well with Copp and Lowry (and I think he’s better on the PK than Tanev).

    Niku / Trouba
    Kulikov / Myers
    Chiarot / Poolman

    The defence is a mess right now with Morrissey and Byfuglien injured, so I am really not sure about the D. However, Niku is a difference maker offensively and Trouba should play the most 5v5 so I would put those two together and play them as much as possible.

    In theory, based on skill and experience, Kulikov and Myers should be a capable 2nd pair. Ièd keep them together but, if they struggle, I would demote them to 3rd pairing.

    IMO, Poolman is better than Chiarot and Beaulieu because he makes better defensive reads and he has always been rock solid in terms of his defensive positioning whenever I have seen him play. He is also a very good skater and great at making an accurate pass to exit the D zone. For now, it is too soon to say whether Beaulieu is better than Chiarot, but the better of the two should be the LHD paired with RHD Poolman (and hopefully whichever plays with Poolman is good enough to move up to 2nd pair if and when Myers and Kulikov struggle in that role).


    My idea of the offensive lines and deffensive pairings:

    Conner scheifele wheeler
    Ehlers Hayes Laine
    Tanev Lowry little (my reasoning, Tanev is a puck retriver and plays big, Lowry is a huge body presence in front of the net and is one of the top faceoff men In the league and little has played wing and is very underrated sniper)
    Perrault copp roslovic (fourth line with a ton of offensive skill and grit provided by copp)

    Morrissey(when healthy if not Beaulieu) Trouba
    Chariot-buff(he should be healthy soon)
    Obviously I left out Appleton but I think he’s still got maturing to do. Kulikov and morrow can be swapped around with niku and Beaulieu, just depends whose healthy between the four IMOP.