The Jets come into tonight’s game two of three against the Leafs sitting in third place in the North Division with a 16-8-1 record. They have games in hand on both Edmonton (3) and Toronto (2) and just one point back of the 2nd place Oilers and five back of the 1st place Leafs. Toronto has now lost three straight so Winnipeg knows they will be getting a motivated Leafs squad this evening.
The only question for the Jets this morning would be which defenceman comes in for Nathan Beaulieu who will be out weeks after blocking a shot with his hand/arm in the last game. Will it be Sami Niku or Logan Stanley? Niku last played ten days ago as he got in to three straight games when Tucker Poolman was out with an injury whereas it has been almost a month (February 13th) since Stanley’s last game. The only tip of his hand as to which it would be from head coach Paul Maurice was when he indicated the player would likely get some penalty kill time which leads some to believe it will be Stanley.
The Jets recalled Logan Stanley from the taxi squad. Stanley, during his media availability this morning in Toronto, confirms he is playing tonight.
Jets projected lines & D pairs:
1. The decision to use Logan Stanley tonight instead of Sami Niku.
2. Jets being the exception to the rule of success with lack of D scoring.
3. Team being on the same page to get better defensively.
4. What does he anticipate facing from a Leafs team that has lost three straight?
5. What does he like about Logan Stanley’s shot generation?
6. Defence finding offence.
7. On Joe Thornton still grinding away.
8. What does he use as a reference point for Logan Stanley?
Puck drop is at 6:00 pm CST. Be sure to head over to illegalcurve.com following the game for a recap of the action which includes post-game interviews from Jets players as well as from head coach Paul Maurice.