Time: 7:00 CT
Radio: TSN 1290
Hockey starts for real tonight as the Winnipeg Jets begin their playoff battle against the red hot St. Louis Blues. We made it to the Western Conference finals last season, and the fan base has been anxiously awaiting a return to the playoffs. That time has arrived. The Jets may have limped into the playoffs, but all that matters now is how a team plays in this two month Stanley Cup playoff tournament. Game by game, series by series.
I’m optimistic that this point is not lost on the Jets players, and that the underachieving, inconsistent team we have witnessed for the last two months (or longer) will be replaced by a playoff tested group that is capable of winning. That’s my optimistic guy take today.
Reasons to be optimistic: Josh Morrissey is back (yay!!!!!!!!!!); Connor Hellebuyck is motivated; Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are playoff type players; even Paul Maurice is playing some subtle mind games on the opposing rookie goaltender by stressing how much pressure is on goalies in the playoffs (courtesy of our friends at Illegal Curve).
Playoff version Tyler Myers emerges and he scores a goal tonight.
Kyle Connor -Mark Scheifele-Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers -Kevin Hayes- Mathieu Perreault
Andrew Copp - Bryan Little- Patrik Laine
Par Lindholm- Adam Lowry -Jack Roslovic
Josh Morrissey -Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot -Dustin Byfuglien
Dmitry Kulikov -Tyler Myers
RW Brandon Tanev (finger/hand, day-to-day)
ST. LOUIS BLUES
Brayden Schenn - Ryan O’Reilly -Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz - Oskar Sundqvist -David Perron
Patrick Maroon - Tyler Bozak -Robert Thomas
Zach Sanford - Ivan Barbashev - Alexander Steen
Vince Dunn - Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester - Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson -Robert Bortuzzo