After another multi-day layoff the Winnipeg Jets return to action against one of the NHL's top teams. The Tampa Bay roll into town with a 4-2-1 record, essentially the inverse of the Jets 2-4-0. The lightning boast a deep and skilled roster, while a single injury to Evander Kane has left the Jets grasping at straws to fill out their top nine.
Note: There is a wear red movement taking shape on Twitter. RIP to Nathan Cirillo.
Wear Red to Jets game tonight and show support for our troops and CPL. Nathan Cirillo http://t.co/C2hqTZiAkk— Alex Snell (@JHendrix70) October 24, 2014
Don't get boxed in. The Winnipeg penalty kill has been strong to start the season, allowing just two goals through the first six games. Their PK percentage of 92.3 ranks fourth in the league. Tonight they face a lightning power play that is converting on 26.9 percent of power play attempts. Rather than tempting fate on the PK, the Jets would be wise to stay out of the box.
Speaking of special teams. While the Jets power play remains goalless, they have been generating chances. Firstly, they are entering the offensive zone with regularity - this alone is a big improvement over last year. Secondly, they are sustaining pressure for stretches. Eventually, the goals will come. A timely bounce versus a tough opponent would do this team well.
Low speed. Rookie Adam Lowry has taken over as the Jets third line centre. The early returns have been marvelous, but this will be a big test. The Lightning play a much faster game than the Flames. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up with the Tampa team speed.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Drouin Conclusions. Super rookie Jonathan Drouin will play his third game of the season tonight. People are already raving about his play, and he has picked up his first NHL point, but he's yet to pot a goal. Could this
Next man up. Victor Hedman is out. Hedman is far and away the TBL's best defender. He is one of the best and most underrated defenders in the league. The Lightning do have quality defensive depth, but they don't have anyone who can fill Hedman's shoes.
At odds. The Lightning power play has scored 7 goals this year, this leads the league. They have also scored two goals in 4 on 4 situations. At 5 on 5, the Lightning have potted 12 goals to the Jets 10. Without winning special teams, the Lightning might be in for a tight matchup. Draw PIMs, score.
Player to Boo Mercilessly
Steven Stamkos was applauded for potting number 60 here. That is too much good will. Boo the bastard.
The powerplay breaks out with two goals and the Jets add two more at evens. Jets win 4-3.