Game 51: Jets vs. Lightning pre-game report
The Jets are gonna kick off the first game of tens straight at Bell MTS Place with a huge test when they face the top team in the entire league. However the Lightning, who just finished hosting the NHL All-Star game in Tampa Bay, have been in a bit of a funk going 5-4-1 in their last ten contests although they have won three straight.
All eyes will be on Michael Hutchinson who played last night in the AHL All-Star game in Utica, NY and made his way to Winnipeg today. Despite this travel he is scheduled to get the start for the Jets. The Jets had four skaters on the fourth line with Dano and Connor both on the right side but as the rookie was getting power play time during practice expectation is Marko Dano will be the extra forward tonight.
Morning skate notes:
Dmitry Kulikov is on the ice in a yellow non-contact uniform according to Jamie Thomas of Jets TV. Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press indicated Tobias Enstrom isn’t on the ice this morning. Presumably he will be fine and it is just maintenance as the Jets haven’t recalled anyone from the Moose.
Coach Maurice reaffirmed that Michael Hutchinson will get the start. Expects him to arrive in Winnipeg around noon.
Update: Jets have officially recalled Michael Hutchinson and assigned Eric Comrie back to the Moose.
The Jets 4th line is comprised of Tanev, Hendricks, Connor and Dano. However, the Jets bench boss wouldn’t confirm which of the four is out. “We’ll see. I haven’t told the guy he’s coming out yet because I’m not sure. We’ve got a question mark up front”.
Update: Dano is out.
The Jets bench boss indicated that Dmitry Kulikov is “possible” for Thursday’s game against the Golden Knights. When it comes to Adam Lowry the coach said he “Feels pretty darn good” and will make his return to the lineup after missing eight games with an upper body injury. Tobias Enstrom wasn’t on the ice but is fine according to his coach and will play tonight.
Update: Team has activated Adam Lowry from IR and placed Jacob Trouba on IR retroactive to January 25th.
Updated lines, D pairs and goalies:
Laine – Wheeler – Roslovic
Ehlers – Little – Perreault
Copp – Lowry – Armia
Connor – Hendricks – Tanev
Enstrom – Byfuglien
Morrissey – Myers
Chiarot – Poolman
Injuries: Trouba, Scheifele, Mason, Matthias and Kulikov.
Coach Maurice: Who starts tonight? What is the rationale for Hutchinson starting tonight rather than one of the other games during the home stand? What is he expecting from Dustin Byfuglien? What is a comfortable number of minutes for Poolman? Does he know when Michael Hutchinson is expected to arrive? On Hellebuyck possibly wanting to start. Status of Kulikov? What is the challenge of a ten-game home stand? Have the Jets met their goals that they set ahead of the season? On bringing in the refs at the beginning of the season, did it change the way the Jets play? Status of Adam Lowry? Status of Tobias Enstrom? Who is the extra forward on the 4th line?
Audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.