Time: 9:30 PM CST
It is happening. After four months of shut down and planning the NHL has started the Bubble Hockey Playoffs today. The Winnipeg Jets are playing the Calgary Flames in the last game of the day at 9:30 PM. There are a couple things to watch for in this game:
- The ice not being great. It is summer and they are playing multiple games on the same sheet of ice in a single day. This could lead to bad ice for the players and potentially more injuries.
- The referees not being influenced by the crowd. I watched a bit of the first game and it was clear that they were calling more penalties. That is a very good thing.
The Jets themselves are going to be playing at roughly full strength. This works to their advantage as they will still have Sami Niku and Jansen Harkins in the stands if needed. The Jets themselves seem to be planning on rolling out the best lines possible for themselves.
As for the Calgary Flames they have Travis Hamonic who opted out of the Bubble Hockey Playoffs which was a right negotiated for him by the NHLPA. Outside of Hamonic, the Flames are also running full-strength which should make for a fun series. Both teams have only played once and that was outside (or if they played before that it was really early in the season.
According to Siri, David Rittich is starting to goal for the Flames tonight and naturally Connor Hellebuyck will be starting for the Jets. Hellebuyck looked great in the Jets single warm-up game so he is of no concern for the Jets.
I dunno, maybe the Jets win and we have fun?