Tonight is the third meeting of this season between the Jets and Avalanche. The team from the Centennial State have won the two previous encounters both in Denver by scores of 3-2 in overtime. This Colorado team reeled off ten straight wins between December 29th and January 22nd but then went 1-2-1 in their next four. Not helping matters was the news that they will be without their top scorer in Nathan MacKinnon who has been sidelined for 2-4 weeks.
Morning skate notes:
Via Ken Wiebe “Highly optional skate this morning. #NHLJets C Mark Scheifele is wearing a regular jersey instead of the non-contact one he’s been sporting recently. Don’t expect him to be an option tonight but after doing battle drills after Friday’s skate, this is another sign of progress.”
Coach Maurice indicated that Adam Lowry has re-aggravated his previous upper-body injury “it’s not significant as the last one. He’s not in tonight. I’m not going to rule him out for Arizona (Tuesday) but I’m not going to list him as probable for there either. But he’s not going tonight.”.
The Jets bench boss also said that Mark Scheifele shed the non-contact because skate was optional but he does expect it to come off this week and said “One he gets through a couple of fairly heavy contact days then he’ll be ready to go. I don’t have him for Arizona (Tuesday) but I won’t rule out St. Louis (Friday) yet.”.
Projected Jets lines, D pairs and goalies:
Laine – Wheeler – Roslovic
Perreault – Little – Ehlers
Tanev – Copp – Armia
Connor – Hendricks – Dano.
Morrissey – Myers
Enstrom – Byfuglien
Chiarot – Kulikov
Injuries: Trouba, Scheifele, Mason, Lowry and Matthias.
Coach Maurice: Update on Scheifele. On how he would use Scheifele when he comes back to the lineup. Update on Adam Lowry. On the move of Kulikov to the right side. Possibility for Kulikov to play with different guys. Has he seen a shift in the way OT is played this season? How does the absence of Nathan MacKinnon change them and change the way the Jets play the Avs? Big picture evaluation of Nikolaj Ehlers. Did he anticipate the success they would have had (9-2-3) without Mark Scheifele? Hellebuyck starts?
Audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.