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Game #39 GDT: New York Islanders at Winnipeg Jets

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The Winnipeg Jets end 2016 by welcoming back an old friend

New York Islanders v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Tonight, the Winnipeg Jets (17-18-3) will close out a forgettable 2016 portion of the 2016-17 season by hosting ex-captain Andrew Ladd's New York Islanders (14-15-6).

Winnipeg is coming off a 5-3 loss to Columbus, which Correspondent Scott Billeck pointed out was the Jets seventh failed opportunity to win a third straight game this season. On top of that, Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice received some flack for overthinking his goaltending nod of Michael Hutchinson over Connor Hellebuyck. There will be no "below average" performance from Hutchinson tonight however, as Hellebuyck is set to end 2016 between the pipes. With Marko Dano out for approximately eight weeks with a lower-body injury, Andrew Copp finds himself recalled and playing left wing on the fourth line beside Nic Petan and Drew Stafford.

The New York Islanders are, in a word, dreadful. For a team which had no worse than playoff aspirations, their current place of 27th in the league and last in the Metropolitan Division is both surprising and disappointing. The Islanders own the 26th ranked power play, 22nd penalty kill, and are an absolute 29th place train-wreck in terms of 5v5 Corsi. At least they no longer have to deal with a three-headed goaltending monster, with Thomas Greiss expected to start tonight and J.F. Berube backing him up.

Just as the Islanders have struggled, so has Andrew Ladd. New York's big money off-season signing, brought in ostensibly to replace Kyle Okposo, has largely fizzled with his new squad. Ladd may rank third among Islanders forwards in terms of ATOI, but his point production does not match that usage, with just 11 points in 35 games played. The 31-year-old's underlying numbers have been a drag even on a poor possession squad, and Ladd currently finds himself on the third/fourth line with Alan Quine and Jason Chimera. The good news is, the $38.5 million dollar man may finally be showing signs of life:

When, Where & How

Saturday, Jan. 31, 6:00 p.m. CT, MTS Centre
Radio: WRHU, TSN 1290

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Nikolaj Ehlers Mark Scheifele Patrik Laine
Mathieu Perreault Bryan Little Blake Wheeler
Shawn Matthias Adam Lowry Joel Armia
Andrew Copp Nic Petan Drew Stafford
Left Defence
Right Defence
Josh Morrissey Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot Paul Postma
Connor Hellebuyck
Michael Hutchinson

New York Islanders Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Anders Lee John Tavares Josh Bailey
Shane Prince Brock Nelson Ryan Strome
Andrew Ladd Alan Quine Jason Chimera
Nikolay Kulemin Casey Cizikas Cal Clutterbuck
Left Defence
Right Defence
Nick Leddy Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan Dennis Seidenberg
Thomas Greiss
J.F. Berube