Though they had posted a record of 9-4-1 in the fifteen games leading up to their back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals, the Winnipeg Jets have been a dismal 2-5-0 in their seven games since. Their Southeast Division lead has now dwindled to only four points and the Jets look to get back on track tonight as they pay a visit to the New York Islanders.
As part of our gameday coverage, we had a few questions relating to the Islanders before puck-drop tonight.
With that, here is our pal Dominik Jansky from Lighthouse Hockey in today's instalment of Gameday Questionnaire:
1. Is John Tavares the best hockey player currently residing in the state of New York? Make your case.
Over this season, yes. In the last few weeks, perhaps not. You could argue he's slowed down recently -- though you wouldn't know it by the eight goals in his last 12 games. Teams have been able to counter his line at even strength on a few occasions over the last road trip. But Tavares drives their best line, keys their powerplay, and is apt for "wow" moments in every game. His passing has always been inventive, but this season he's found ways to score goals at a 50-goal pace. He's even mixing in a mean hit here and there.
Ultimately, ask fans of the other teams in New York and they all more often than not say Tavares is the NY player they fear most.
2. Barring injury, is there any circumstance in which you see Kevin Poulin starting between the pipes this season.
You know, if it's not happening on this back-to-back, it's not happening at all. Not without a glaringly obvious implosion by Evgeni Nabokov. The team really likes and trusts him, apparently not just for stopping some pucks but as an on-ice coach too. Worse, Kevin Poulin didn't steal the show in his two spot starts.
3. If you were a betting man, where would you say Mark Streit will be come Wednesday at 3:00PM EST?
I'd still bet he's an Islander, with a shiny new contract. But Garth Snow is probably playing tough in extension negotiations, and with good reason: Streit is still a good hockey player, but he's getting older, there are signs of decline, and the Isles have a lot of prospect depth behind him where it no longer looks disastrous if he's out of the lineup. Locking up Lubomir Visnovsky for two more years means it's not as essential to hang on to another aging (but good) defender. But both sides want to work something out, so he probably stays.
Ed. Note: We thank Dominik for his for his time in this edition of Gameday Questionnaire. Look for our next edition of Gameday Questionnaire Thursday with our pals from Eyes on the Prize.