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Preview: Winnipeg Jets vs Edmonton Oilers

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What a difference a week makes!

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

A lot can happen in the course of a week.  The Winnipeg Jets lost against division rival, the St. Louis Blues, on Tuesday, December 15th.  On the 16th, the True North brass demotes Adam Lowry to the Moose, in order for him to "find his game". On Thursday, December 17th, True North promote Matt Halischuk and Joel Armia to the Jets, and the team practices the power play and penalty kill like crazy.  On Friday, December 19th, the Jets beat the New York Rangers, and "line demote" Cap'n Andrew Ladd in some "housekeeping" while switching up the newly minted franchise player in Chris Thorburn to play along side Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little. Today, the Jets take on the Edmonton Oilers, who have had their own struggles as of late.  On December 17th, they were shut out against the Chicago Blackhawks, and on the 19th, they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche 5-1.

Keys to the game: Winnipeg Jets:

Keep them guessing!  The newly formed 4th line of Copp, Halischuk, and Armia worked very well against the New York Rangers, and I hope it can create the same type of game against the Oilers.  However, the newly formed defensive pairing of Chariot and Stuart is a work in progress, as is the third line.  I actually thought the experimental 1st line of Wheeler, Little and Thorburn and 3rd line of Ladd, Burmistrov and Ehlers was refreshing. Trouba and Byfuglien's switching sides at the beginning of the St. Louis game threw the Blues for a loop, as they were expecting one thing, and found another.  It took the Blues a while to catch up, as it were.  Now, I know that those were "blips", but it's this type of puzzle solving shuffle that creates nightmares for opposing teams.

Keys to the game: Edmonton Oilers:

The Oilers can't seem to get a break, as they have now lost 3 in a row. Consistent defensive play while being hard on the puck, and the return of a few key players would do the Oilers some good.  If a break is what the Oilers need, then the Xmas break of a few days off will hopefully help put them back in the right direction.

Play to boo mercilessly:

Any one of the first selection, first round lottery winnings should fulfill your booing cravings nicely.  It's like an all you can eat booing buffet! (If the Oilers win the upcoming draft lottery and pick Auston Matthews, it'll be the equivalent of the towering chocolate fountain, oozing with booing goodness!)

Prediction:

Jets 5-1.  Hellebuyck will get an assist.