After what seemed like an eternity, the Winnipeg Jets took to the ice and took on a direct foe in the standings in the St. Louis Blues. The Blues entered the contest with out one of their top defensemen in Shattenkirk, who was traded away at the deadline to the Washington Capitals. So it was kind of the new look Blues against the Jets, who lost Stafford at the deadline as well. But the difference here was that Stafford wasn’t as valuable to the Jets lineup as Shattenkirk was to the Blues.
The Jets, backed by solid goal tending by Hellebuyck, salt and peppered the Blues’ Hutton early and often. After taking a 1-0 lead heading into the second, the Jets poured on the puck possession and offense, hammering the Blues with 19 shots on goal! Although none beat the Blues net minder, it gave us fans a glimpse of what can be done by the Jets as they try and get the proverbial “monkey off the back” of the team in the second period. Going into the third, the team rallied and was able to match the blues in intensity and force, and in the dying minutes, solidified the victory with a great empty net effort by Little, followed by the final blow empty netter by Wheeler.
Today’s opponents are the Colorado Avalanche, who are coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. This means the Avs have one day rest on the Jets, who are entering the second of a at home back to back. This will certainly test the Jets’ resiliency and determination to gain another valuable 2 points for the standings. But, long out of the playoff hunt, the Avs will look to play spoilers and gain the two points for themselves.
Who: Winnipeg Jets (29-30-6 for 64 pts) vs Colorado Avalanche (17-42-3 for 37 pts)
When: 6:00 pm CST
How: SN, TSN1290, ALT2, AM950
Ehlers - Scheifele - Laine
Perreault - Little- Wheeler
Matthias - Lowry - Armia
Dano - Copp - Thorburn
Enstrom - Byfuglien
Morrissey - Trouba
Chariot - Postma
Landeskog - Mackinnon - Comeau
Rantanen - Duchene - Nieto
Colborne - Mitchell - Grigorenko
Anrighetto - Soderberg - Bourque
Weirocioch - Johnson
Tyutin - Barrie
Beauchemin - Barberio
- With Hellebuyck’s shutout, does this solidify his position as #1? I certainly hope so, as he was obviously rock solid on net against the Blues, stopping 29 shots. However, the true test will come when he can play well in a back to back situation, and we may see him gain the opportunity to show us what he can do is such a scenario this evening.
- Can the Winnipeg Jets manage to stay out of the penalty box? This is key. I’m all for trying to draw a penalty. But then to draw one and skate away, that’s paramount and power play gold.
- Will the second period continue to prove to be the Achilles’ heel of the team, or can the they find a way to push through? The Jets need to build upon the intensity they displayed against the Blues, as they peppered the opposing goalie with 19 shots in the second alone. 19 freakin’ shots! The second period is literally the “hump” of the game, and if they can continue that style of play and get over the hump, more games will come through as winners.
Players to watch:
Winnipeg Jets: I know I may catch some heat for saying this but, I liked the line of Dano,. Copp and Thorburn against the Blues. What?! Thorburn? Yes. That line raised hell when it needed to, and settled things back down afterwards...in other words, they controlled the overall game when they were on the ice.
Colorado Avalanche: Landeskog, Mackinnon and Duchene: okay guys, the Avs kept you at the trade deadline because they didn’t get an offer they liked.
Prediction: Jets 6-1