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Preview: Winnipeg Jets vs Columbus Blue Jackets

With how cold it’s been in Winnipeg lately, Columbus will need blue jackets, blue scarves, blue mittens, blue boots...

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Winnipeg Jets Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Where to watch/listen

Broadcast Schedule
Broadcast Schedule
Time: 7:00 P.M. CDT
Radio: TSN1290, KFAN 100.3

It’s been a couple of weeks, but the Winnipeg Jets are back at home tonight, playing against the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first time this season.

The Jets are coming off of a shootout victory against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, a game in which the Connors (Kyle Connor and Connor Hellebuyck) were the key factors.

The Blue Jackets also played on Tuesday, losing 5-4 to the Buffalo Sabres. The Jackets sit third in the Metropolitan Division, despite the fact they have had sub-par goaltending from both Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo. The team’s leading scorer could very well get dealt at or before the trade deadline, as Artemi Panarin is set to become and unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. So, things could be better for Columbus.

Despite the fact that the Jets have also had struggles in their game, they sit atop the Central Division with a couple of games in hand, and are 7-3-0 in their last 10, which is better than any other team in the division can boast during that time.

Tale of the Tape

Winnipeg Jets Stats San Jose Sharks
Winnipeg Jets Stats San Jose Sharks
1-0-0 Series 0-1-0
14-9-1 Record 13-11-1
29 Points 27
3rd Central Division 4th Pacific
5th West Conference 8th West
4-1-0 Last 5 4-1-0
68 Goals For 73
73 Goals Against 83
Regular Season
Nikolaj Ehlers (11) Goals Evander Kane (12)
Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele (14) Assists Logan Couture (20)
Scheifele (22) Points Couture (25)
Connor Hellebuyck (11) Wins Martin Jones (10)
Hellebuyck (2.42) Goals Against Average Jones (3.18)
Hellebuyck (.928) Save Percentage Aaron Dell (.897)
15.5 (24th) Power Play % 19.5 (14th)
72.2 (29th) Penalty Kill % 91.4 (1st)

Enemy Territory

Columbus Blue Jackets Coverage: The Cannon

Last Jets Game:

Winnipeg Jets 4-3 (SO) Boston Bruins

Kyle Connor scored two in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 36 of 39 before stopping another three in the shootout.

Last Blue Jackets Game:

Buffalo Sabres 5-4 Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus came back from being down 3-1 to tie things at four after two, but Buffalo scored the only goal in the third, as Bobrovsky gave up five goals on 30 shots.

Players to watch:

Winnipeg Jets

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

He’s 20-years-old, leads one of the best teams in the NHL in goals, has 105 regular season goals in 205 regular season games, and is getting EATEN ALIVE THIS YEAR.

Benched for a large swatch of time in Tuesday’s game, the kid is slumping, with four goals on his last 74 shots going back to December 1. That’s 5.4% accuracy for someone who has a career average of 17%.

I have extreme doubts he’s the next Jimmy Carson, so things will get better. He’s not the only Jet struggling of late, but he’s arguably getting the mist flack.

Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Rangers Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

I am going to preface what I say next with “there is a difference between correlation and causation” and I’m not willing to say it’s causation, but Nick Foligno has been in decline since signing a six-year, $33-million contract in 2015. He was coming off of a 31-goal, 73-point season, and at the time of signing would have been 27 turning 28. It looked like a good contract for the Jackets, but as things stand right now the Columbus captain has 57 points in his last 116 regular season games, which is pretty meh. It’s not terrible, but it’s not fantastic by any means.

Is he done? He’s 31-years-old, so I kind of doubt it, but the offensive well is running dry.