A big home and home series kicks off tonight for the Jets here in Winnipeg as they take on their division rival Dallas Stars. The two teams have the same number of points although the Jets do have one game in hand on Dallas.
The Jets haven’t really made Bell MTS Place a difficult place to play so far this season (6-5-1 record) but luckily for them they face a Stars team that hasn’t exactly been lights out on the road (6-6-2).
This will be the third meeting between the Jets and Stars since November 10th with both teams having won a game.
It’s an optional skate today according to Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun. Scott indicated that Mason Appleton is on the ice as is Gabriel Bourque and Nathan Beaulieu who are both in non-contact jerseys.
Jets Projected Lines, D pairs and Starting Goalie:
Stars Projected Lines, D pairs and Starting Goalie:
Come via Mike Heika who is a senior staff writer for Dallas.
Coach Maurice: Update on lineup? Status of Kulikov? Injured Jets updates? On their approach to Central Division games. Dealing with the loss of another defenceman. More on injuries. Why has Sbisa fit well with the group? Attitude of Sbisa to keep plugging away. What Roope Hintz brings to the Stars lineup. Where has Blake Wheeler impacted the Jets the most since his move to the middle? Would he consider leaving Wheeler at centre? How does he prevent players from breaking down from the pressure?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
Coach Maurice was asked about Nathan Beaulieu, Mason Appleton and Gabriel Bourque “If I gave you an order Beau and Mason would be pretty close. I think Bourque is next after that.” Maurice said the three players will be making the road trip with the team to Dallas on Wednesday.
Maurice also said that Dmitry Kulikov will be out of the lineup until around the All-Star Break (January 26th).
Puck drop is at 7 PM CST. Be sure to head over to illegalcurve.com following the game for a recap of the action which includes post-game audio from the Jets room as well as from Coach Maurice.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.