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Winnipeg Jets vs Toronto Maple Leafs

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Betwixt and between, and yet, 2 points be.

NHL: Heritage Classic-Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets are on a bit of a roll. Sunday’s game against the Ottawa Senators was dramatic towards the end, but it was the start of the game that set the Jets apart from their opponents, as they got on the puck and managed to go up 2-0 by the end of the first period. From there, it was Ottawa’s uphill climb, but they rose to the challenge to make it a competitive affair. Josh Morrissey scored the eventual winner, and the Jets improved to 2-0-1 on this read trip. Connor Hellebuyck was again solid in goal, and looks to be taking the reigns away from Ondrej Pavelec going forward.

But, the game wasn’t without controversy, as Jacob Trouba’s shoulder caught Ottawa’s Mark Stone in the head and was assessed a two minute minor, and as a result of a hearing with Player Safety yesterday, Trouba now has a 2 game suspension. As also mentioned, the end of the game was quite nerve wracking, as the officials needed to confer and look at the replays to determine if the puck had indeed crossed the Jets’ goal line at the buzzer. After some tense moments, the replay was deemed inconclusive, and the Jets breathed a sigh of relief as they took the game 3-2, giving them 2 solid points.

NHL.com

Today’s opponents are the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are coming off a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, as Curtis McElhinney secured the shutout win for his new club.

Moneypuck.com

Who: Winnipeg Jets (28-29-5) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (27-20-11)

When: 6:30 pm CST

How: TSN3, TSN4, TSN1290, TSN/Sportsnet

Projected Lineups:

Winnipeg Jets:

Nikolaj Ehlers - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Mathieau Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias - Adam Lowry - Joel Armia

Brandon Tanev - Nic Petan - Chris Thorburn

Julian Melchiori - Dustin Byfuglien

Ben Chariot - Josh Morrissey

Mark Stuart - Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Micheal Hutchinson

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Josh Leivo

James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown

Zack Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

Matt Martin - Sergey Kalinin - Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Reilly - Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

For more information on today’s opponent, please visit Pensionplanpuppets.com.

3 Questions:

1. As the team continues it’s playoff hunt, the following question will persist...can Hellebuyck continue to play up to the level of confidence the team, the coaching staff, and the management of the Winnipeg Jets have in Pavelec? With this being the last game for the Jets before taking in their bye week, Hellebuyck essentially needs one more solid performance before he can “get the monkey off his back”. The Jets come off the bye week the day before the March first trade deadline. If there was ever a time for Hellebuyck to make the statement that he’s #1, now is the time, as Jets brass could then use the bye week to shop for a potential new suitor for Pavelec.

Connor Hellebuyck’s last 5 games
NHL/Winnipeg Jets.com

2. Can the Winnipeg Jets maintain it’s disciplined play and not allow the other team to secure a valuable power play opportunity? The Jets gave up 4 power play opportunities to the Senators...two of them by Dustin Byfuglien, and the aforementioned shoulder-to-head check by Jacob Trouba.

3. Can the Winnipeg Jets become a consistent defensively minded team? Despite the defense men struggling to stay out of the penalty box against the Senators, the line of Little, Wheeler and Ehlers put on a puck possession clinic in the Senators’ zone to chew down precious time at the end of the third period, helping to secure the win.

Player to Watch:

Winnipeg Jets: Nikolaj Ehlers - 8 games now without a point. The last point Ehlers scored was an assist on a Bryan Little goal against Dallas on Feb. 2nd.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Some guy named Matthews thinks he’s better than NHL 1st star of the week Patrik Laine. Terrible! Horrible! It’s all lies! The media are awful! Fake news!

Prediction: Jets 4-2

Moneypuck.com