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Game #60 Preview: Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars

Here we are, under the Stars
Here we are, under the Stars
Playoffs are so far
Playoffs are so far
Playoffs are so far
Under the Stars

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Your Winnipeg Jets take on the Central Division and Western Conference leading Dallas Stars. After falling to Dallas 5-3 on Tuesday, let's see if the Jets campaign for Patrik Laine can continue unabated. They sure as heck aren't catching Toronto.

Catch the game tonight, 7:30 PM Central Time on FS-SW, TSN3 and TSN1290.

It's a Numbers Game

Winnipeg Jets

Dallas Stars

Record

25-30-4

38-17-6

Games Played - Points

59 - 54

61 - 82

Division-Conference-League

7th - 13th - 28th

1st - 1st - 2nd

Last 10 - Streak

3-6-1 - L2

6-3-1 - W1

Goals For / Game

2.54 (19th)

3.23 (2nd)

Goals Against / Game

2.93 (25th)

2.79 (21st)

Shots For / Game

29.8 (15th)

32.2 (3rd)

Shots Against / Game

29.7 (14th)

29.3 (12th)

5v5 Corsi For %

51.8% (8th)

53.5% (2nd)

5v5 Shooting %

7.06% (17th)

7.94% (8th)

5v5 SV %

92.52% (17th)

91.90% (25th)

Power Play %

16.3% (28th)

21.5% (6th)

Penalty Kill %

77.5% (28th)

79.2% (23rd)

PIM / Game

12:37 (29th)

08:43 (9th)

Let's take a moment to admire Winnipeg's record against Dallas this season. In 2015-16, the Jets are 0-3-1 against these particular Central Division rivals, and have been outscored 17 - 10. Dallas' power play has scored on 5 out of 15 attempts, in contrast to Winnipeg's 1 of 14.

Winnipeg did well keeping Dallas to just 27 shots on Tuesday, considering the Stars average 32.2 per game. Unfortunately, the Jets penalty kill allowed 2 goals on 5 times shorthanded. Could Winnipeg please look into hiring the individual in charge of North Bay's PK, for entertainment value if nothing else?

Antti Niemi of Scotland

Michael Hutchinson

Antti Niemi

Record

6-11-1

22-11-5

Overall SV%

.908%

.907%

ES SV%

.909%

.924%

PP SV%

.903%

.844%

While Dallas' power play runs at a dangerous 21.5%, their 23rd ranked penalty kill is significantly less mighty. When one looks at the goaltending, the PK's successful kill percentage of just 79.2 is unsurprising. Of the 44 goalies who've played at least 20 games, Niemi's PP SV% of .844 ranks 37th, smack dab in between Devan Dubnyk and Pekka Rinne. Hutchinson's .903% looks like a dream by comparison.

On the other hand, Niemi comes across as competent when looking at even strength SV%. Of the same 44 goalies, his .924% ranks 25th, tied with Semyon Varlamov and Jake Allen. This stands in contract to Hutch's .909 EV SV%, which at 41st beats only Jonas Hiller, Eddie Lack and Jonathan Bernier. Niemi may be mediocre, but at least he isn't bad.

Jyrki Jokipakka and other Finnish swear words

Tobias Enstrom

Alex Goligoski

Games Played

59

61

Goals - Assists - Points

1-11-12

4-21-25

Power Play Points

1

4

Shots / Game

0.7

1.6

Shooting %

2.3%

4.2%

TOI / Game

20:13

23:45

PP TOI / Game

01:01

02:00

SH TOI / Game

01:17

02:05

PIM

40

28

To say that Dallas' d-corps is "John Klingberg and everybody else" both is and isn't true. Klingberg has 51 points; Alex Goligoski is second on the blueline, with 25. The Swedish star has 18 power play points; every other Stars defenceman combined has 10.

But when it comes to ice time division of labour, Dallas' approach is fairly egalitarian. Klingberg plays an average of 23:12 per game, a category where Goligoski surpasses him with 23:45. The second pairing of Johnny Oduya and Jason Demers both play over 20 minutes a game, and the third pair contributes anywhere between 14-16 min depending on the personnel dressed. In short, John Klingberg doesn't have to carry the weight of the world, unlike a certain other Swedish defenceman of note.

With that said, if the Winnipeg Jets could keep Klingberg's exposure to Chiarot - Myers to a minimum, that would be swell.

When Patrick Sharp is your third line RW

Alexander Burmistrov

Mattias Janmark

Games Played

58

61

Goals - Assists - Points

6-6-12

13-12-25

Power Play Points

0

1

Shots / Game

1.1

1.6

Shooting %

9.1%

13.3%

TOI / Game

15:23

14:19

PP TOI / Game

00:34

00:41

SH TOI / Game

02:03

00:24

PIM

24

12

The Dallas Stars are 2nd in Goals For / GP, 3rd in Shots For / GP and 2nd in 5v5 Corsi For %. Between these three numbers, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of Stars forwards producing.

In their last nine games, the power couple of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have a combined 22 points, while Jason Spezza has three points in three games since returning from injury. Importantly however, it's not just the big three plus John Klingberg rolling for Dallas. On pace for 23 goals and 36 assists, Patrick Sharp has more than justified GM Jim Nill's willingness to absorb his hefty contract. Often forgotten and/or maligned, Alex Hemsky has quietly posted five points in his last seven games, an accomplishment considering he's averaged just 12:45 this season. And I haven't even mentioned mild rookie revelation Mattias Janmark, whose numbers one can find above.

Having these multiple cylinders firing allows head coach Lindy Ruff to spread the wealth around his forward corps:

Would anyone be surprised if a bottom-six of Roussel-Eakin-Sharp + Fiddler-Faksa-Sceviour ate Armia-Lowry-Burmistrov + Thornburn-Copp-Peluso alive?

KTV: Winnipeg Jets

Key:

The time for showcasing Andrew Ladd is over; keep him as far away from Antoine Roussel as humanly possible. Continue feeding Nikolaj Ehlers big minutes, while hopefully affording the same opportunity to Joel Armia. Fix the specials teams in preparation for next season, and for the love of all that is holy, give the Dallas Stars fewer than five power play opportunities. The Winnipeg Jets are competitive at 5v5; generally speaking, keep the game at even strength.

Tweet:

Video:

Newly-minted first line centre Mark Scheifele provided audiences with both some #ScheifeleDown and retribution on the referee.

KTV: Dallas Stars

Key:

Does anybody feel truly comfortable predicting a long Dallas Stars postseason run, given their current tandem of Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen? At 5v5, they have the 25th worst goaltending in the league. Barring a dramatic trade for goaltending (which would almost certainly have to entail sending one of Niemi or Lehtonen the other way), the Stars could use some defensive overkill. A player such as Dan Hamhuis on Dallas' bottom-pairing and penalty kill would help to further insulate their subpar goaltending.

Tweet:

Video:

Ben Chiarot and Valeri Nichushkin combined quite well on this Dallas Stars goal. Wait.

Affection or Affliction

Affliction. Tyler Seguin manages to make wearing a rubber ducky look good. Enough said. Boo him mercilessly.

According to Nostradamus

The Winnipeg Jets do indeed provide fewer than five shorthanded opportunities. Unfortunately, the penalty kill still allows two goals against. Goaltending proves surprisingly sturdy on the Dallas side of things, and John Klingberg shows why he's the Erik Karlsson of the West. Ben Chiarot and Tyler Myers go -2 on the night.

Jets lose 4-2.

Stats, facts and automobiles provided by NHL.com, Hockey Analysis and The Hockey News.