“you need to be ready for the elite teams” Gameday 36 Winnipeg Jets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Photo credit:© Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
By Goose
5 months ago
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I’m back from Alberta after spending Christmas with the family. I’m excited about making 2024 the biggest and best year for Jets Nation. Let’s hope we’re celebrating with a parade at Portage and Main in June and hoisting a big silver cup.
The Winnipeg Jets have been on a roll lately, especially after their impressive 10-1-2 record in December. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck even earned the third star in the NHL for the month.
Tonight, the Jets are set to face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Canada Life Centre. The Lightning, dealing with injuries, will dress 12 forwards and five healthy defensemen according to head coach Jon Cooper. After going 8-6 in December, they’re looking to secure some distance over the Washington Capitals for the final wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The injury bug has hit the Lightning hard recently. Defenceman Haydn Fleury is on LTIR, Mikhail Sergachev is out with a lower-body injury and Erik Cernak left the game against the Montreal Canadiens early and is day-to-day.


Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start his 10th game in 11, boasting an 8-7-0 record this season with a 2.94 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. However, the Jets have their star, Connor Hellebuyck, who didn’t lose a game in regulation throughout December. With a 17-6-3 record, a 2.34 goals against average, and a .919 save percentage this season, Hellebuyck is poised for a stellar 2024.
In head-to-head stats, Hellebuyck holds a 7-3-1 record against the Lightning, though his goals against average is 3.86 with an .882 save percentage. Vasilevskiy has a less than stellar record against Winnipeg with 4-6-1 record a 3.37 goals against average and an .887 save percentage.
The lines will stay the same for the Jets going into this contest. Head coach Rick Bowness would talk about the success of the third and fourth lines in the last three contests and how tough it will be to move players out of the line up when the whole team is healthy. With that being said the Jets lines should remain the same as the last two contests.
For those considering a bet tonight, Mark Scheifele has been a consistent point-per-game player against Tampa Bay, boasting six goals and 18 points. With the top line quiet in recent games, tonight might be the night for them to regain their scoring touch.
Projected Lineup:
Ehlers – Scheifele – Vilardi
Perfetti – Namestnikov – Iafallo
Niederreiter – Lowry – Appleton
Barron – Toninato – AJF
Morrissey – DeMelo
Dillon – Pionk
Samberg – Schmid
Hellebuyck (.919 SV%)
Brossoit (.912 SV%)
Puck drop this evening is at 7:00 CST. You can watch the game on Sportsnet or listen in on CJOB.

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