Photo credit:© Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
“You need to give them the utmost respect they have a good team over there” Game day 37 Winnipeg Jets @ San Jose Sharks
By Goose1 month ago
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We are at the point in the season where the Winnipeg Jets tend to hit a rough patch, often beginning with a loss to a lower-ranked team. Tonight, the Jets face the San Jose Sharks, a team currently last in the NHL.
Adding to the pressure, the team will play in front of their dads, brothers, and mentors during this three-game road trip.
The Sharks have had the upper hand in the last five matchups between the two clubs, winning four of the last six games against the Jets. Despite this, Winnipeg has outscored San Jose 14-13. The most recent meeting ended with the Sharks winning 2-1.
Once again, the Jets find themselves in contention for the top spot in the West. A win tonight against the Sharks, combined with a regulation loss by the Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche, would place the Jets at the summit of the Central Division and the Western Conference.
The Jets’ offense needs to be on full display tonight, with the hope for fewer posts and crossbars and more actual goals for the dominant Jets. They are a powerhouse when it comes to scoring goals, averaging 3.36 goals per game, ranking 11th in the NHL.
This game marks the middle of a three-game homestand for San Jose, having dropped the first game of this set to the Detroit Red Wings. The Sharks are currently on a nine-game losing streak, having not won a game since their last encounter with the Jets, losing 10 of their last 11 games.
Connor Hellebuyck was spotted in the starter’s crease and looks to continue his 19-game streak of allowing three or fewer goals against. In that time, he has allowed three goals in just four of those games. Overall this season, Hellebuyck is 18-6-3 with a 2.33 goals-against average and has a .920 save percentage. The Sharks are the only team in the last month to give the Jets a regulation loss.
Mackenzie Blackwood is looking to be a thorn in the side of the Jets once again. The 27-year-old Thunder Bay native has a 3-0-1 record against Winnipeg in his career and has a 2.43 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in the same time frame.
The Jets’ power play has started to look better lately, although it hasn’t had the scoring success. However, you need a few games to feel it out before you can score. It feels like tonight could be the night for the Jets’ power play units to start putting the puck in the back of the net.
Both teams are struggling when it comes to the penalty kill, with both having percentages in the mid-70s. San Jose’s is at 73%, and Winnipeg’s is at 74%.
Mark Scheifele was seen on the second line during the morning skate; he was swapped with Vlad Namestnikov. I wouldn’t be shocked if they return to their proper positions midway through the first period.
Rick Bowness mentioned during the morning interviews that those two players can be flipped at any time if he doesn’t like what he sees.
Ehlers – Namestnikov – Vilardi
Perfetti – Scheifele – Iafallo
Niederreiter – Lowry – Appleton
Barron – Toninato – AJF
Morrissey – DeMelo
Dillon – Pionk
Samberg – Schmid
Hellebuyck (.920 SV%)
Brossoit (.912 SV%)
Puck drop this evening is at 9:30 CST. You can watch the game on TSN or listen in on CJOB.
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