Coming off a rare week off, the Jets return to the ice tonight to face the ColoDano Avalanche, in an intriguing divisional matchup. The teams are tied with 17 points apiece, though the Jets hold a game in hand. Oh, did I say Dano? Yes, it will be the return of Marko Dano to Winnipeg after he was plucked off waivers by the Avs earlier this season. He has 0 points in 6 games with the team.
The Jets will be looking to get back into the win column after what some believe was a disappointing showing in Finland, taking only 1 of the 2 games against the Panthers. Coming back after a week off will be tough for the Jets, especially against a very fast Avalanche team, led by Nathan MacKinnon.
As always, the Jets can matchup with any team on any given night, especially up front. Here’s hoping that the week off will help some players get their legs going again, especially the likes of Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine, both of whom have struggled mightily at 5v5. They aren’t the only players who are struggling, just the most noticeable, especially to my eyes.
And of course, back to the defence, the Kets continue to rely on their top 3, Morrissey, Trouba, and Byfuglien. Kulikov will draw in for Joe Morrow tonight while Chiarot will remain with Byfuglien. Sami Niku says hello. The Jets played very well in the first period of their loss last Friday, but eventually discipline took over, Florida scored 3 PP goals on 5 opportunities. The Jets can’t afford to take penalties, as their PK is regressing from what it was last season, until they figure it out teams will expose it. Any shot can go in, quality doesn’t always matter, quantity does have an effect, it even creates quality.
Connor Hellebuyck will man the crease tonight.