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Preview and GDT: Winnipeg Jets vs Vancouver Canucks

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NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 7:00 PM CST

Channel: TSN3, Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: TSN1290

The Winnipeg Jets (17-8-5) return home after picking up one point of a possible six on a three-game road trip that had them visit the Red Wings, Panthers and Lightning. They were out-scored 15-8 on the trip.

They return to the comfort and safety of Bell MTS Place, where they hold a record of 10-2-1 this season. Their competition tonight is the Vancouver Canucks (14-12-4), a familiar foe if only for the reason that the Canucks were the parent club to the Manitoba Moose for a few years a while back.

It’s good news/bad news on the injury front for the Jets. The good news is Steve Mason returns after suffering a concussion on November 25th. He’ll back up Connor Hellebuyck tonight, as Eric Comrie was sent back down to the Moose earlier today.

The bad news is that the team will be without big minute man, and big man, Dustin Byfuglien until after Christmas with a lower body injury that caused him to exit the game against Tampa Bay on the weekend. Tucker Poolman will slot into the line-up, and will play on the third pairing with Ben Chiarot. The pairing of Dmitry Kulikov and Tyler Myers will have to step up, as Big Buff played a team leading 23:40 per game, with a team leading 3:34 of power play time on the fourth best power play in the NHL.

Despite the losing streak, three Winnipeg players are at a point per game or better over their last 10 games: Nikolaj Ehlers (10 points), Patrik Laine (11 points) and Blake Wheeler (13 points).

This is the second time these two teams have met this season, with the Jets winning

Connor Hellebuyck’s early season numbers were always going to regress, but hopefully this little slide can end tonight. Maybe looking over his shoulder at Steve Mason will help? No one knows for sure, but I intend to find out.

Will Alexander Burmistrov have the last laugh over the Jets?

Will Winnipeg be like “hahaha, you guys have to live in Vancouver where everything costs too much and it rains all the time and you rioted that one time”?

Tune in this evening! Same Jets time (7:00 PM CST), Same Jets channel (TSN 3)!

Winnipeg Jets: 17-8-5

Stat Leaders:

Goals: Patrik Laine (15)

Assists: Blake Wheeler (30)

Points: Wheeler (38)

Goalie Stat Leaders:

Wins: Connor Hellebuyck (15)

Goals Against Average: Hellebuyck (2.51)

Save Percentage: Hellebuyck (.919)

Minutes: Hellebuyck (1,365)

Special Teams: PP 25.7% (4th), PK 79.1% (22nd)

Vancouver Canucks: 14-12-4

Stat Leaders:

Goals: Brock Boeser (15)

Assists: Henrik Sedin (15)

Points: Boeser (27)

Goalie Stat Leaders:

Wins: Jacon Markstrom (8)

Goals Against Average: Markstrom (2.44)

Save Percentage: Anders Nilsson (.921)

Minutes: Markstrom (1253)

Special Teams: PP 21.0% (8th), PK 80.2% (17th)

Winnipeg Jets

FORWARDS

81 Kyle Connor/ 55 Mark Scheifele/26 Blake Wheeler

27 Nikolaj Ehlers/ 18 Bryan Little/ 29 Patrik Laine

9 Andrew Copp/ 17 Adam Lowry/ 13 Brandon Tanev

85 Mathieu Perreault/ 15 Matt Hendricks/ 40 Joel Armia

DEFENCE

44 Josh Morrissey/ 8 Jacob Trouba

5 Dmitry Kulikov/ 57 Tyler Myers

7 Ben Chiarot/ 3 Tucker Poolman

STARTING GOALIE

37 Connor Hellebuyck

Riding the pine: 35 Steve Mason

Scratched: 56 Marko Dano , 33 Dustin Byfuglien (week to week), 16 Shawn Matthias

Injured: 39 Toby Enstrom (lower body) ETA Late January.

Vancouver Canucks

FORWARDS

22 Daniel Sedin -- 33 Henrik Sedin -- 21 Loui Eriksson

26 Thomas Vanek -- 60 Markus Granlund -- 6 Brock Boeser

18 Jake Virtanen -- 17 Nic Dowd -- 89 Sam Gagner

50 Brendan Gaunce -- 45 Michael Chaput -- 42 Alexander Burmistrov

DEFENCE

23 Alexander Edler -- 8 Christopher Tanev

4 Michael Del Zotto -- 5 Derrick Pouliot

27 Ben Hutton -- 51 Troy Stecher

STARTING GOALIE

25 Jacob Markstrom

Riding the pine: 31 Anders Nilsson

Scratched: 77 Nikolay Goldobin, 55 Alex Biega

Injured: 53 Bo Horvat (fractured foot), 20 Brandon Sutter (lower body), 44 Erik Gudbranson (upper body), 47 Sven Baertschi (broken jaw)

Voting for All-Star Captains is now open. Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.