0

Three Storylines Heading into Jets Season Series Finale Against Flames

After losing a seventh straight game, the Winnipeg Jets are currently riding their longest stretch without a victory since they returned to the “True North” and will be aiming to turn things around during their final road game of the regular season, which will take place against the Calgary Flames.

In eight previous meetings this season, Winnipeg has won five of those contests against Calgary and could certainly benefit from another victory during this Wednesday night showdown. Since this club is currently tied in the standings with the Montreal Canadiens, coming away victorious could help them create some much-needed separation for third spot in the North Division, although finishing in fourth place might not be the worst outcome either.

Here are three storylines that could impact the Jets’ final game of the regular season against the Flames:

1. Mathieu Perreault Thriving in New Role 

Without question, it’s been a rollercoaster type season for forward Mathieu Perreault, who was placed on waivers after training camp concluded, has spent time on both the third and fourth lines and has now been paired with teammate Pierre-Luc Dubois in each of the last three games. As a result of this new pairing, the 33-year-old has earned at least 15:00 minutes of ice time over the past two contests and has started to create some encouraging chemistry with his new linemate.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

While Perreault hasn’t created any points in this new role, he’s still found a way to make an impact for Winnipeg, particularly during his last time out as his on-ice presence earned him a 55.6% CF percentage, 71.4% FF percentage, 66.7% SCF percentage and a 66.8% xGF percentage, according to NaturalStatTrick.com. If the veteran forward can replicate these impressive metrics, this newly formed second line, which also features Paul Stastny, could help this team break out of their recent slump.

2. Kyle Connor Attempting to Surpass Recent Scoring Drought 

Despite leading the Jets in goals (22) this season, forward KYLE CONNOR hasn’t found the back of the net in each of the last five games, as his last goal came on Apr. 22 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even though the 24-year-old has produced five blocks and three hits during this scoreless stretch, he’s only generated five shots on net, five scoring chances and one rebound over that same span.

Digging deeper into Connor’s offensive woes, none of his scoring chances have come from high-danger areas and only two of his shots on goal have occurred during five-on-five play over the last five games, which are major factors that have led to his recent struggles. Considering the former first-round pick has scored 10 of his 22 goals on the power play, it’ll also be extremely important for him to start producing with the man advantage once again, however, his last special teams goal came on Apr. 15.

3. High-Paced Opening 20 Minutes 

With the Jets seemingly desperate for a win, there’s no question they’ll be looking to come out strong in the first period, in hopes of taking an early lead and setting the tone through the rest of the way. Since this team has allowed the game’s opening goal in five of its last seven defeats, it’d likely be very beneficial to score first against the Flames, especially since they’ve lost four of their last seven games when trailing first.

Considering these two clubs have combined to score 17 goals in the opening 20 minutes through eight games against each other, chances are Wednesday’s matchup could feature plenty of offense early on, potentially leading to plenty of action for goaltenders Connor Hellebuyck and Jacob Markstrom. Having said that, the Jets have been held to just one goal in four of their last five games, so there’s also a strong chance their struggles in the offensive zone could continue throughout this game.

Lineups:

Winnipeg Jets:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
LW C RW
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 79.5#5 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 76.8#19 C

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 76.3#22 RW

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 74.8#36 LW

Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Rating: 74.6#38 C

Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 71.1#96 RW

Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.5#60 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 69.2#149 C

Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON

Rating: 69.5#123 RW

Kristian Vesalainen
KRISTIAN VESALAINEN
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

Logan Stanley
LOGAN STANLEY
Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

Rating: 71.8#69 RD

Calgary Flames: 

LW C RW
Johnny Gaudreau
JOHNNY GAUDREAU

Rating: 76.0#19 LW

Elias Lindholm
ELIAS LINDHOLM

Rating: 76.5#19 C

Matthew Tkachuk
MATTHEW TKACHUK

Rating: 78.0#9 RW

Andrew Mangiapane
ANDREW MANGIAPANE

Rating: 74.2#36 LW

Sean Monahan
SEAN MONAHAN

Rating: 74.4#42 C

Brett Ritchie
BRETT RITCHIE
Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 70.7#103 LW

Mikael Backlund
MIKAEL BACKLUND

Rating: 75.5#30 C

Dillon Dube
DILLON DUBE

Rating: 70.3#108 RW

Joakim Nordstrom
JOAKIM NORDSTROM

Rating: 67.9#150 LW

Derek Ryan
DEREK RYAN

Rating: 72.0#83 C

Buddy Robinson
BUDDY ROBINSON
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Mark Giordano
MARK GIORDANO

Rating: 77.9#6 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.0#90 RD

Nikita Nesterov
NIKITA NESTEROV
Rasmus Andersson
RASMUS ANDERSSON

Rating: 73.5#36 RD

Juuso Valimaki
JUUSO VALIMAKI

Rating: 72.6#6 LD

Michael Stone
MICHAEL STONE

Rating: 71.0#91 RD

Where to Watch/Listen:

The puck will drop at 8:30 pm CT and be available on TSN 3 along with 680 CJOB.