It was an optional skate on Tuesday and all we really learned was that Nikolaj Ehlers return would be delayed a bit longer. It also sounds like coach Maurice may not rush Dmitry Kulikov back into the lineup, choosing instead to give the veteran D man more time to recover from his upper-body injury.
The Avalanche come into tonight’s game on a brutal skid having gone 1-6-3 in their last ten games, sitting four points out of the second wild card spot and a full 20 points back of the Jets in the Central Division.
Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun indicates that Connor Hellebuyck will likely start in net for the Jets. Ken also says that Dmitry Kulikov and Nic Petan stayed on for extra work so it looks like the Jets will use the exact same lineup they had in their last game.
Jets projected lines, D pairs and starting goalie:
Coach Maurice: Connor Hellebuyck starts? Same lineup? On the challenges presented by the Avalanche. Is there a better line in the NHL than the Colorado top line? What has done Morrissey done lately that he likes? What is underappreciated about Bryan Little? Is it unfair for Little to be tied to Laine’s scoring struggles? Does he pay any attention to strength of schedule? What are some of the benefits when Byfuglien is playing a physical game?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
Puck drop is at 7:00 pm CT. 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.