Tonight the Jets seek retribution for the embarrassment meted out by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Jets on the second half of a back-to-back after scraping past the Red Wings 2-1 last night.
Last time around the Jets were able to dictate the match-ups, and relied on Trouba & Morrissey to hold off the Matthews line, while Byfuglien and Chiarot saw the most of the Tavares line. This deployment wasn’t a roaring success per se, but it wasn’t a complete train wreck either. How will they fare now that Toronto gets the last change?
Despite a strong showing from Brossoit last night, expect Hellebuyck between the pipes tonight. Though I blame Wednesday’s loss more on team defence than on goaltending, the Jets have to be hoping that Hellebuyck can stand on his head a little to blunt the Leafs’ offensive juggernaut. Also, it would be nice to see Petan inserted as some fresh legs might come in handy tonight, and we could perhaps see Joe Morrow for the same reason. Nevertheless, I think it more likely that the lines project to be much the same as they ended up last night:
For goddness’ sake, let’s see some EFFORT out there. The Leafs dominated the Jets from the second half of the 1st period through the entire 2nd period, and the Jets put up another period manila envelope-level excitement in the 1st last night. It’s going to take a full 60 minute effort tonight, on a back-to-back against a rested club no less, to pull off a win tonight. Let’s hope the Jets from last year decide to make an appearance.
On Wednesday the Jets controlled 53.74% of even-strength shot attempts in all situations, but only 46.15% of the high danger scoring chances (Stats via Naturalstattrick.com). While both teams succeeded in generating shots from in tight to the net, the Jets’ PP was kept mostly to the perimeter. They looked better against DET, but then, that’s DET for you. Hopefully the special teams can cary a little momentum over.
Bottom line: Jets can’t keep counting on lucky breaks and are going to need to start winning games on merit instead of relying on their good looks and charm.
Post publish edit: Morrow in for Kulikov
And added projected lineup: