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Three Storylines Heading into Jets Rematch Against Maple Leafs

After dropping the first half of this two-game series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Winnipeg Jets reflected on their recent defeat Friday and are now looking to return to their winning ways during this Saturday night showdown.

With Winnipeg losing Thursday’s contest, they’ve now lost consecutive games in regulation twice this season, although this team hasn’t lost more than two games in a row all year long. Considering the Jets have averaged four goals in games after losing two straight, there’s a pretty good chance this showdown will feature plenty of scoring, which should make for great entertainment.

Here are three storylines that could impact the Jets’ ninth game of the season against the Maple Leafs:

1. Adam Lowry Unavailable Saturday 

After taking a hit to the head during Thursday night’s contest, forward Adam Lowry went straight to the dressing room and didn’t return for the remainder of the game. Less than 48 hours later, coach Paul Maurice revealed the 28-year-old didn’t suffer a concussion, however, he still isn’t feeling 100 percent and will be kept out of action as a precaution.

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With Lowry on the mend, teammate Andrew Copp will slide over to center, as he did last game, and will skate alongside linemates Mason Appleton and Mathieu Perreault on the third line. As for who’ll fill Perreault’s spot on the fourth line, forward Jansen Harkins will jump back into the lineup, preparing for his 19th game of the season.

2. Ice Packs For Everyone Post Game 

While both Winnipeg and Toronto rank outside the top-15 in hits this season, neither of them have shied away from throwing the body around recently, allowing things to become extremely chippy during their latest meeting. Whether it was Pierre-Luc Dubois driving hard to the net, some dirty headshots from forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Joe Thornton or a hit from behind on defenseman Josh Morrissey, it’s become very clear these two teams aren’t too fond of each other.

Based on veteran Wayne Simmonds’ recent comments about needing to defend themselves from being bullied in the hits department, it seems this Saturday night contest could feature plenty of physicality through all three periods. Even though fighting has essentially been removed from the game, that certainly doesn’t mean this matchup won’t feature at least one or two dust-ups, especially if the officials decide to swallow the whistles once again.

3. Logan Stanley Returns 

Following defenseman Jordie Benn’s disappointing debut Thursday, which saw him earn a -2 rating, the Jets’ coaching staff has chosen to reinsert rookie Logan Stanley into the lineup ahead of this rematch against the Maple Leafs. As a result, the towering 6′ 7″ blueliner will be reunited with veteran Dylan DeMelo on the third defensive pairing and he’ll look to help his team improve its performance in the defensive zone.

Since Maurice is still planning to utilize a three-player rotation involving the sixth defenseman spot, chances are Benn and Ville Heinola will return to the lineup at some point in the near future. Having said that, if Stanley impresses during this primetime showdown, then perhaps he’ll receive the bulk of playing time down the stretch and potentially into the playoffs as well.

Lineups:

Winnipeg Jets:

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LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 79.5#5 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 76.8#19 C

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Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 76.3#22 RW

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Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 74.8#36 LW

Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Rating: 74.6#38 C

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 75.7#20 RW

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 71.1#96 LW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.5#60 C

Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON

Rating: 69.5#123 RW

Jansen Harkins
JANSEN HARKINS
Nate Thompson
NATE THOMPSON

Rating: 69.4#145 C

Trevor Lewis
TREVOR LEWIS

Rating: 70.1#114 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 74.1#29 LD

Tucker Poolman
TUCKER POOLMAN

Rating: 71.6#74 RD

Derek Forbort
DEREK FORBORT

Rating: 70.5#109 LD

Neal Pionk
NEAL PIONK

Rating: 75.3#20 RD

Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN

Rating: 70.9#101 LD

Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

Rating: 71.8#69 RD

Toronto Maple Leafs: 

LW C RW
Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO

Rating: 72.5#61 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.3#6 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 76.6#18 RW

Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

Rating: 70.8#115 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 77.6#15 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#23 RW

Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 72.3#74 LW

Adam Brooks
ADAM BROOKS
Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. Brodie
T.J. BRODIE

Rating: 74.2#27 RD

Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

Rasmus Sandin
RASMUS SANDIN

Rating: 72.3#69 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 RD

Where to Watch/Listen:

The puck will drop at 6 pm CT, yes, it’s another national game, and will be available on CBC/SN along with 680 CJOB.