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Winnipeg Jets vs Chicago Blackhawks

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Can the Jets continue the hot streak against the Hawks this season?

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The playoff picture for the Winnipeg Jets is bleak at best. A 4-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night was strangely highlighted by the partial benching and demotion to the fourth line of highly touted forward Patrik Laine. In fact, it didn’t take long for the team to experience the full PoMo blender effect as 34s of the foward lines and 2/3s of the defensive lines were juggled and jumbled in the first intermission as the Minnesota Wild held a 2-0 lead. The Jets mounted a slight comeback in the second period with goals coming from Bryan Little and Joel Armia. Ondrej Pavelec pulled himself from the game after the Little goal, and was replaced by Connor Hellebuck, who did well in being thrust into game action. After a failed penalty shot attempt (due to Dustin Byfuglien shooting a broken stick at the Wild player that possessed the puck), the Wild scored again in the third and sealed the 4-2 victory.

As it stands right now, with 26 games left in the regular season, the Winnipeg Jets have just over a 18% chance of making the playoffs, but a 5% chance of winning the draft lottery. (via Moneypuck.com)

NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks, who are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, are playing their second game of a three games in four nights scenario, and fifth game in a row on the road. The Jets have won all four contests against the Blackhawks this season, and are looking to make it five as the Jets and Blackhawks square off in the confines of the MTS Centre. However, the big difference here is that the Blackhawks have all but secured a playoff spot, and are in good position to contend for the Stanley Cup again this year.

Who: Winnipeg Jets (25-27-4 for 54 pts) vs Chicago Blackhawks (33-17-5 for 71 pts)

When: 7:00 pm CST

How: TSN3, TSN1290, CSN-CH, 720WGN

Projected Lineups:

Winnipeg Jets:

Ehlers-Little-Laine

Copp-Scheifele-Wheeler

Matthias -Lowry-Armia

Perreault-Petan-Stafford

Morrissey-Byfuglien

Enstrom-Trouba

Stuart-Postma

Hellebuyck

Hutchinson

*Chariot is a game time decision

*Thorburn & Melchiori are scratched

*Dano has started skating and is a few games away from returning.

*Myers is at least 4 weeks away from returning after surgery on Tuesday.

Chicago Blackhawks:

Schmaltz-Toews-Panik

Panarin-Anisimov-Kane

Rasmussen-Kruger-Hossa

Hartman-Kero-Tootoo

Keith-Hjalmarsson

Forsling-Seabrook

Campbell-van Riemsdyk

Crawford

Darling

For more info on tonight’s Jets opponents, check out Secondcityhockey.com

3 Questions:

  1. Can Hellebuyck play up to the level of confidence the coaching staff and the management of the Winnipeg Jets seem to have in Pavelec?
  2. Can the Winnipeg Jets become a consistent defensively minded team?
  3. It’s certainly been an up and down year in Jetsville. What changes would you make to the team in order to bring about a playoff appearance?

Player to Watch:

Winnipeg Jets: Paging Mr. Laine & Mr. Hellebuyck - The kids are the future, but have recently hit a rough patch.

Chicago Blackhawks: Paging Mr. Toews & Mr. Kane - The sniper twins are the leaders of the Hawks, and need to set the pace going into the playoffs.

Prediction: The Jets make it 5 wins against the Hawks this season, and take the match 4-3.

Moneypuck.com