Time: 7:30 CT
TV: TSN 3
Radio: TSN 1290
The Winnipeg Jets are playing well. 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, including three straight wins on this current road trip. Tonight they try to make it four road wins in a row against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. It’s going to be a challenge as the Stars are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and have won four straight. Their stars, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have recently been playing up to the level of their big contracts. Ben Bishop is still solid in goal and remains near the top of the NHL in goals against average.
The Jets record this season after 22 games is basically identical to their record after the same number of games last season (13-8-1 this year, 13-7-2 last season). Very impressive considering last year’s team on paper had much more talent – Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien, Brandon Tanev … even maligned at the time players like Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot. So, kudos to the Jets players and coaching staff. Most of the experts expected a pretty harsh decline, but so far, so good. Connor Hellebuyck obviously read the blog posts and comments advising him that we needed Vezina level play, and is delivering. Blake Wheeler has dutifully stepped in as second line center. And, defenseman like Neal Pionk, Tucker Poolman and Nathan Beaulieu have been exceeding expectations.
Is the team flawed? Absolutely, and in an 82 game season those flaws will be exposed repeatedly. But, let’s enjoy the ride and give some credit to a team that at present is over achieving.
Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Patrik Laine
Nikolaj Ehlers - Blake Wheeler –J ack Roslovic
Andrew Copp - Adam Lowry - Mathieu Perreault
Joona Luoto - David Gustafsson - Logan Shaw
Josh Morrissey - Tucker Poolman
Dmitry Kulikov - Neal Pionk
Nathan Beaulieu - Luca Sbisa
F Mason Appleton, F Mark Letestu, F Bryan Little, F Gabriel Bourque, D Dustin Byfuglien (suspended)
Jamie Benn - Justin Dowling - Tyler Seguin
Denis Gurianov - Joe Pavelski - Alexander Radulov
Nick Caamano - Jason Dickinson - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Esa Lindell - Taylor Fedun
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera - Roman Polak
F Roope Hintz, F Mattias Janmark, D John Klingberg, D Stephen Johns