With the recent west coast swing in the books, the Winnipeg Jets are hoping they can keep their winning streak alive on home ice. The Jets begin the homestand with another clash against the New Jersey Devils where they have a chance to sweep the season series.
We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know heading into this one.
1) Home sweet home?
With another lengthy homestand on the horizon, the Jets are sure hoping it goes better than the last one. The Jets had five straight games at Bell MTS Place last month and they went a measly 1-4 against some fairly week competition.
The struggles are even more frustrating when looking at the Jets record at home over the past few years. The Jets have always enjoyed success in their home barn with a .603 winning percentage at Bell MTS Place throughout the franchises history.
Looking more recently, the Jets enjoyed a great record at home last year as they went 25-12-4 throughout the year. There’s no need to worry as the Jets have only had one major homestand so far and they will likely get back on track according to their historical data.
The teams they face aren’t too intimidating either as the faceoff against the Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, and Colorado Avalanche. Although the Canucks and Avalanche are enjoying strong seasons, the Jets should be able to come away with at least three victories in this stretch.
2) Remember last Devils game?
It was October 4, the second game of the season and the Jets found themselves in a massive hole midway through the game. After Blake Coleman scored his second goal of the night, everyone wrote the Jets off and thought they were dropping to 0-2. Everything that is, except for the Jets themselves as they rallied back from 4-0 to tie the game. Overtime didn’t solve anything and the Jets managed to complete the comeback with a Blake Wheeler shooutout winner.
Let’s just enjoy these highlights and reminisce for a moment.
Don’t think for a moment that New Jersey has forgotten about this game. If they get out to an early lead, they will continue to play much harder than they did a month ago. The Jets will have to be careful as the Devils will want to make a statement during this rematch.
3) Not very special teams
One of the biggest talking points in Winnipeg is the head-scratching moves of the powerplay units. To be fair, the head scratching comes from Paul Maurice’s decision making, but also from the terrible play of Winnipeg’s best players.
The Jets have enjoyed tons of success with Wheeler running the powerplay from the half-boards over the past several seasons. Even with Dustin Byfuglien’s shot missing from the point, the number one unit should be producing more than they currently are.
In fact, when looking at the current lineup, there’s a curious lack of points for the Jets’ biggest name.
#NHLJets power play scoring:
That last one is shocking. pic.twitter.com/UhsRiaFRqB
— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) November 4, 2019
Somehow Josh Morrissey, Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele have all been garnering points, but Blake Wheeler has yet to record anything with the man-advantage. It’s such a weird turn of events this season and definitely something to watch going forward.
With the top unit not producing much in the recent games, Maurice has shaken up the units to give a different look on the ice. Our good friend Murat had a look at the most recent powerplay units at practice and what we will most likely be seeing in tonight’s game.
Scheifele, Wheeler, Connor, Perreault, Morrissey
Jets pp 2:
Little, Laine, Ehlers, Roslovic, Pionk
— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) November 4, 2019
It’s a peculiar look and not something the Jets have ran before. We will have to wait and see if it will pan out like Maurice is hoping it will.
4) Beaulieu debut
All signs are pointing towards Nathan Beaulieu making his season debut against the Devils. Beaulieu has been out since training camp with an upper body injury and will be a welcome addition among a struggling group of defenders. Beaulieu will hopefully make an immediate impact on the blueline with his ability to make simple but effective plays in his own end.
Maurice says he believes Beaulieu will play tomorrow. They’ll wait to see how he feels when he comes in on game day morning.
— Mitchell Clinton (@MitchellClinton) November 4, 2019
It’s not that Beaulieu is a superstar, but he provides a decent level of play and is an upgrade from having Sbisa logging heavy minutes.
We will have to wait and see how the pairings will look when Beaulieu is back in the lineup, but having more depth on the back end is always helpful.