The last time the Penguins were in town, the Jets demolished them 7-1, in what some believe was the true turning for the Jets last season, defeating the then Stanley Cup Champs, big time, in prime time. Now, the Penguins are struggling mightily, no consistent goaltending, as Matt Murray is once again on the IR. Leaving Casey DeSmith and Tristian Jarry as the goalies for. Who? Even with the likes of Crosby and Malkin, it’s tough to win games when you can’t stop keep any pucks out of your net.
The Jets on the other hand have been middling around, and sit fourth in their division, with a game or two in hand on those above them. Some consistency would be nice. Laine has been carrying them as of late scoring a pile of goals, including 5(!) in Saturday’s 8-4 victory over the Blues. Yes, 5 goals, winning a Winnipegger a cool million dollars in doing so. Laine is now 1 goal shy of his 100th career goal, he would join some great company by doing at the age of 20.
The Jets are at home for a quick two games this week, then head out to the Big Apple to play the New York teams. They’ll look to take advantage of a struggling Pittsburgh team, and the lowly Chicago Blackhawks before heading out east.
The keys to doing this are the same as usual, get the forecheck going early, stay out of the box, put the puck in the net. Fairly simple stuff, right? Well, yes, and no. The Jets haven’t been able to consistently play 60 minutes, which makes all these thing difficult to achieve. Forecheck doesn’t work, you take penalties because you don’t have the puck, which also makes it hard to score. Interesting.
Connor Hellebuyck will be the starter for the Jets tonight, as the forward and D will once again remain the same. Maybe Niku will see this ice this week. Also of not, Mason Appleton was recalled from the Moose as an extra body, with Copp remaining sidelined with a concussion. Maybe we’ll see him on Thursday. One had to wonder when these call up prospects will get a look in a game. Draft and press box?