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Photo Credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

WTWF: Rematch Against The Blues

The Jets and Blues are set for their second match in less than two days as these two teams met Friday night, had Saturday off, and now face off again this afternoon. The NHL has utilized the home and home situation more often this year as Winnipeg has already done the same with both Dallas and Detroit in recent weeks.

It’s always interesting playing the same team back to back, so here’s what to watch for in this game.

1) Goaltending

It’s no surprise that goaltending is the biggest thing to watch for in this game. With a wild 5-4 game on Friday night, both netminders were beat consistently throughout the game. Hellebuyck specifically let in a soft goal to open the game and he will need a bounce back performance if the Jets want to win this game.

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Hellebuyck has been known to handle adversity with excellent performances which makes this a big storyline heading into the game.

Here’s what Maurice had to say about Hellebuyck’s recent performance.

2) Home and home history?

As mentioned in the intro, this is the third time that Winnipeg is playing a home and home series in the month of December. To make things more interesting, the Jets have played all three in Winnipeg first before facing the opposition on the road.

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In terms of games played so far, the Jets have lost both of their other home and home away games. They were beat in overtime by the Stars on December 5, and they fell to Detroit 5-2 on December 12.

Will Winnipeg buck the trend and finally win the second leg of the home and home?

3) Highest scorers

It’s always interesting to see career splits for various players against random teams. In terms of points against St. Louis, Blake Wheeler has the most on the team with 36 points in 32 games. Scheifele is second with 25 points in 26 games and Little is third with 23 points in 30 games.

In terms of points per game, things take a drastically different turn. Patrik Laine has averaged a goal per game against the Blues over the course of his career as he’s scored 13 goals in 13 games against the Blues. He’s also chipped in four assists which equals an impressive 1.31 points per game.

Even more impressive is the numbers being put up by Kyle Connor. Connor leads the team in points per game against the Blues with 5 goals and 8 assists in only 9 games. This gives him 1.44 points per game.

4) Play Ehlers more

The Jets lost in overtime on Friday night and it prompted this interesting response from Jetsnation legend Garret:

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No, that winger isn’t Wheeler, or Laine, or Connor. It’s Nikolaj Ehlers. Garret explains further by looking at the numbers over the past several seasons which show Ehlers at the top of the goals above replacement stat among all Jets’ wingers.

Not only has Ehlers been the Jets’ best winger for the last several seasons, but his game is exactly suited for 3 on 3 overtime. His primary ability is his phenomenal skating ability which is showcased in overtime more than anywhere else. For some reason, Ehlers didn’t even get a chance to touch the ice before the Jets were scored on and lost the game.

To put it simply, player Ehlers more.

Bold Prediction

The St. Louis Blues are a good hockey team, but the Jets are going to come in a steal a victory. Hellebuyck will be at the top of his game and Laine is going to continue to light the lamp as the Jets take the game 3-1.

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