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Three Storylines Heading into Jets Back-to-Back Series Against Senators, Oilers

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Thomas Hall
1 year ago
Following a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, the Winnipeg Jets improved to 3-1 through four games and are now preparing to endure an extremely busy weekend, as they’re scheduled for their second back-to-back series in less than a week.
Due to the shortened and compacted 2020-21 campaign, the Jets will be forced to play against these same Senators for the third straight game and are slated to welcome the Edmonton Oilers to town just one day later. Nevertheless, this team will be aiming to continue its current two-game winning streak and are hoping to enjoy a successful weekend.
Here are three storylines that could impact the Jets’ back-to-back series against the Senators and Oilers:

1. Patrik Laine is Leaving Winnipeg 

Despite being placed on the injured reserve on Friday, the Jets agreed to send forward @Patrik Laine to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for @Pierre-Luc Dubois on Saturday. While the 22-year old would’ve missed this weekend series anyway, his departure, along with Dubois’ upcoming 14-day quarantine, leaves a massive hole on the club’s second line.
Since Laine is heading to Columbus, it’ll be crucial for the team’s top line – which includes forwards @Mark Scheifele, @Blake Wheeler, and @Kyle Connor – to continue carrying the offensive load during this next stretch of games. Along with the first line, it’d also be extremely beneficial for teammate @Nikolaj Ehlers, who’s scored two goals and four points through four games, to maintain his current production level with the Finnish goal scorer moving on to the next chapter of his career.

2. Power Play Remains Ice Cold 

Without question, not having Laine on the ice has undoubtedly impacted Winnipeg’s power-play units in a negative way, although that doesn’t completely excuse their horrible results with the man advantage so far this season. Through four games, their power play has converted on just two of their 20 opportunities, providing them with the fifth-lowest conversion rate (10.0%) among all 31 teams in the league.
You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that the Jets can’t afford to continue failing when their opponent heads to the penalty box. Since the Senators are currently tied for the second-most penalties (27) committed this season, Saturday night’s matchup should serve as another chance for this roster to turn their current woes around, especially since they were provided seven power-play opportunities on Thursday.

3. Dylan DeMelo Makes Season Debut

Starting the regular season on a positive note, although his strong showing wasn’t on the ice, defenseman @Dylan DeMelo and his wife welcomed a new child into the world just before the puck dropped on the 2020-21 campaign. As a result, the 27-year old blueliner has missed the first four games of the season, but he’s slated to participate in his first game on Saturday night against the Senators.
Considering DeMelo quickly became a key part of this defensive group during his brief time last season, where he recorded 14 blocks, 11 hits, 10 shots on net, and one takeaway, he should provide a massive boost on the blue line moving forward. With the 6-foot-1 defenseman returning to action, teammate @Ville Heinola – who performed extremely well on Thursday in his season debut – will lose his spot in the lineup as he’s been assigned back to the taxi squad.

Lineups: 

Winnipeg Jets:
LWCRW

KYLE CONNOR
Rating: 79.5#5 LW

MARK SCHEIFELE
Rating: 76.8#19 C

BLAKE WHEELER
Rating: 76.3#22 RW

ANDREW COPP
Rating: 72.5#60 LW

PAUL STASTNY
Rating: 74.8#36 C

NIKOLAJ EHLERS
Rating: 75.7#20 RW

JANSEN HARKINS

ADAM LOWRY
Rating: 69.2#149 C

MASON APPLETON
Rating: 69.5#123 RW

MATHIEU PERREAULT
Rating: 71.1#96 LW

TREVOR LEWIS
Rating: 70.1#114 C

KRISTIAN VESALAINEN
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

JOSH MORRISSEY
Rating: 74.1#29 LD

DYLAN DEMELO
Rating: 71.8#69 RD

DEREK FORBORT
Rating: 70.5#109 LD

NEAL PIONK
Rating: 75.3#20 RD

LOGAN STANLEY

NATHAN BEAULIEU
Rating: 72.1#72 RD
Ottawa Senators: 
LWCRW

BRADY TKACHUK
Rating: 75.0#27 LW

JOSH NORRIS

DRAKE BATHERSON

ALEX GALCHENYUK
Rating: 70.8#115 LW

DEREK STEPAN
Rating: 72.7#67 C

EVGENII DADONOV
Rating: 73.1#53 RW

NICK PAUL
Rating: 71.2#105 LW

CHRIS TIERNEY
Rating: 72.2#77 C

CONNOR BROWN
Rating: 72.6#66 RW

CEDRIC PAQUETTE
Rating: 70.7#118 LW

COLIN WHITE
Rating: 70.3#129 C

AUSTIN WATSON
Rating: 69.1#140 RW
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

THOMAS CHABOT
Rating: 74.5#23 LD

ERIK GUDBRANSON
Rating: 71.3#77 RD

MIKE REILLY
Rating: 72.4#64 LD

NIKITA ZAITSEV
Rating: 70.5#97 RD

BRAYDON COBURN
Rating: 72.0#77 LD

JOSH BROWN
Edmonton Oilers: 
LWCRW

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
Rating: 77.4#11 LW

CONNOR MCDAVID
Rating: 82.7#5 C

ZACK KASSIAN
Rating: 71.2#94 RW

DOMINIK KAHUN
Rating: 72.5#69 LW

LEON DRAISAITL
Rating: 86.1#1 C

KAILER YAMAMOTO
Rating: 73.5#47 RW

TYLER ENNIS
Rating: 71.4#90 LW

KYLE TURRIS
Rating: 71.6#99 C

JESSE PULJUJARVI

JAMES NEAL
Rating: 71.7#82 LW

DEVIN SHORE
Rating: 69.6#141 C

JOSH ARCHIBALD
Rating: 71.2#95 RW
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

DARNELL NURSE
Rating: 74.1#30 LD

ETHAN BEAR
Rating: 71.8#66 RD

KRIS RUSSELL
Rating: 70.1#115 LD

TYSON BARRIE
Rating: 75.3#21 RD

SLATER KOEKKOEK
Rating: 71.3#78 LD

ADAM LARSSON
Rating: 71.1#88 RD

Where to watch/listen:

The puck will drop at 9 pm CT on Saturday and 8 pm CT on Sunday. The first game of the back-to-back will be available on CBC and Rogers Sportsnet. The second game will be shown on TSN 3. Both games can be heard on 680 CJOB.

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