The Jets and Oilers are two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference as Winnipeg enters tonight’s contest 7-3-0 in their last 10 while Edmonton has gone 7-2-1. Perhaps the edge goes to the home team as the Jets hold a 11-4-2 record at Bell MTS Place while the Oilers are just 8-8-1 away from Alberta (although 3-2-1 on the road under new head coach Ken Hitchcock).
Practice was optional on Wednesday so we didn’t learn if there would be any changes to the Jets lineup (i.e. is Andrew Copp ready to return). For now the Projected lines & D pairs are based on the last game with the only change being the expectation that Connor Hellebuyck starts in net.
The Jets are 19-9-2 on the season which has moved them into 2nd spot in the Central Division. They are just one point back of 1st place Nashville (with one game in hand) and one point up on Colorado who are in 3rd (Wpg also has one game in hand on the Avs).
According to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun no Dustin Byfuglien at today’s skate although it is expected that it is maintenance. He also indicated that, as expected, Connor Hellebuyck will get the start in net.
Projected Jets lines and D pairs:
Coach Maurice: On a coaching change and putting player on notice. What kind of boost has Mikko Koskinen provided them? Did Byfuglien exercise his option? Anything new with Copp? Has he noticed anything different in Hellebuyck’s game? Is this as good as he has seen Bryan Little playing in awhile? Why is Kyle Connor fitting well on the second line?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
Coach Maurice on Andrew Copp “Skated again today. Looks good.”
Puck drop is at 7 pm. 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.