Your Winnipeg Jets take on a Chicago Blackhawks squad which, while still playoff-bound, has stumbled as of late.
It was a rather mixed month of March for the Blackhawks. Chicago went 5-6-2, beating up on teams such as Calgary and Vancover while losing to Dallas and Minnesota twice each. Coming into tonight, they are a perfectly middling 2-2-1, most recently falling 4-1 to the aforementioned Wild.
Speaking of middling, the Winnipeg Jets are 4-4-2 in their last ten games. As should come as no surprise, they also posted a worse March record than the Blackhawks, coming in at 5-8-3. If one counts falling in overtime, the Jets are riding a three game losing after posting costly wins against Vancouver and Los Angeles.
I say costly because Edmonton, Vancouver and Columbus are making this whole "tanking" thing a real pain in the neck. As per NHL.com:
These two teams last met on March 18th, with the Blackhawks outshooting Winnipeg 36-28 on their way to a 4-0 victory. It was a game made especially noteworthy when ex-Jets captain Andrew Ladd popped in Chicago's third of the night:
Catch the game tonight, 7:00 PM Central Time on CSN-CH, TSN3 and TSN1290.
Tonight's starters in Scott Darling and Ondrej Pavelec constitutes a rematch of goaltending rematch from that March 18th tilt. Darling earned the aforementioned shutout, while Pavelec made 32 saves on 36 shots for a .889 Sv%.
Chicago's starter Corey Crawford has been out since March 17th win an upper-body injury, leaving Scott Darling to hold the fort. Head coach Joel Quenneville has had no qualms riding the 27-year-old backup, with Darling starting every game since Crawford's absence.
Of the 55 goaltenders who have played at least 20 games, Scott Darling has been okay at best. His overall save percentage of .914% ranks 37th, while narrowing to his .918 even strength save percentage drops Darling to 40th.
For the record, Pavelec comes in 46th and 38th, respectively.
Poor Scott Darling pic.twitter.com/bumSYaeEp7— Greg Balloch (@GregBalloch) March 27, 2016
Bits and Bobs
- Mark Scheifele's hot streak continues, now with seven points in five games. He's averaged an impressive 20:36 ATOI over that span.
- The other Winnipeg Jets player coming in hot is Blake Wheeler, who has 10 points in his last 10 games.
- Over his last three games, Pavelec is 2-0-1 with a .957 Sv%, though superb numbers against Vancouver and LA mask a somewhat less admirable .906 Sv% against Philadelphia on March 28th.
- Star rookie Artemi Panarin has just two points in his last nine games. However, he's still on pace for 27 goals and 69 points.
- Marian Hossa is feeling ill tonight:
With Hossa (illness) out of the lineup tonight, Fleischmann remains on the top line with Ladd and Toews. #CHIvsWPG— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 1, 2016
- Since joining Chicago, Andrew Ladd has nine points in 14 games. Three of those came on March 26th against the Calgary Flames.
- With nine points in 14 games of his own, Teuvo Teravainen has turned on the offensive lately. As per Daily Faceoff, he's currently skating beside Brandon Mashinter and Dale Weise, which is my way of saying I wouldn't count on continued even strength point production.
- No idea yet what's happening with Duncan Keith:
For those asking, I'd expect Duncan Keith's fate to be announced later in the evening. Hopefully by puck drop.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 1, 2016
Duncan Keith has lots of excuses for that slash on Coyle, but the truth is pretty obvious. pic.twitter.com/VicXThZMpy— Graphic Comments (@GraphicComments) April 1, 2016
According to Nostradamus
Chicago will do the unthinkable, and allow the Jets to walk away with two more points to their name. Not only that, but Ondrej Pavelec posts a shutout.
Jets win 3-0. Winnipeg fans proceed to listen to this song ironically:
Stats, facts and automobiles provided by NHL.com, Natural Stat Trick, WAR On Ice, Hockey Analysis, Hockey Reference and The Hockey News. Thanks for reading!