Time: 6:00 PM CST
The Winnipeg Jets are playing their first of two games in a short road trip before Christmas against the Boston Bruins. They will have Connor Hellebuyck back tonight as he has rejoined the team after missing the last game with an illness. While Hellebuyck is back, it is still likely the Jets have numerous players who are still sick and they cannot have sit out due to not having enough healthy bodies available otherwise.
The Bruins are one of the top teams in the league and very hard to beat at home. They have been built to withstand players retiring or leaving due to free agency. They have survived the retirement of Tuukka Rask and seem to be just fine thank you very much. But the Jets are not a bad team. However, I do think the Western Conference has some amazingly bad teams that have made it harder to gauge how good the top teams are. Teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, the Anaheim Ducks, and the Columbus Blue Jackets make it harder to tell who is truly good because you can pick up excess points against teams that have lost 16/17 games. Yes, you read that right.
That said, this game should be a good game. It appears that Hellebuyck will be back in goal and while the Jets are struggling to field a healthy team due to injuries to key players even though some of them are edging closer to a come back (looking at you Nikolaj Ehlers). Thanks to the injuries they have been able to give some players a proper chance to play including Mikey Eyssimont and maybe, finally Ville Heinola. They are having to play players who wouldn’t normally get a chance to play much and it is up to the player to make the most of the opportunity they are given.
Prediction: hard to say because the Jets are so beat up, but they have also been playing well.