The Jets hit the ice in Pittsburgh and had good news as Josh Morrissey was practicing in a regular uniform after being a late scratch on Sunday night due to a warm up skate collision. Dmitry Kulikov, on the other hand, was granted a personal leave from the team which necessitated a recall of Sami Niku from the Moose. The Jets also announced they had recalled Nelson Nogier which necessitated placing Bryan Little, who is recovering from a concussion, on IR to maintain roster compliance.
The Pens got bad news on Monday as it was reported that Nick Bjugstad and Evgeni Malkin are expected to be sidelined long term.
No Josh Morrissey tonight as the Jets will hold him out an extra game and Sami Niku will draw in. Dahlstrom remains in the game. Nogier is the extra D man. According to Ken Wiebe of The Athletic Winnipeg it is possible David Gustafsson makes his NHL debut tonight although coach Maurice wouldn’t commit.
Pre-game warm up skate:
The lines and D pairs below reflect how the Jets looked in warm up although you can probably expect the D pairs to switch up as per Ken Wiebe of The Athletic.
Jets projected lines, D pairs and goalies:
Dahlstrom – Pionk
Heinola – Poolman
Bitetto – Niku
The Jets will hold Josh Morrissey out for tonight’s game according to coach Maurice.
Coach Maurice: Update on the Jets blueline. More on Morrissey. What’s the challenge coming into a game like this? How he plans to pair up his D? His chat with David Gustafsson at the end of skate. Does he remember a season starting with this much flux on the blueline? Dealing with this many losses on D. Who starts in net? Putting Little on IR. Is the home opener unlikely for Little?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
Coach Maurice confirmed that Connor Hellebuyck gets the start tonight.
Puck drop is at 6:00 pm CDT. 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.