With just 17 games remaining tonight will likely be the toughest test for the Jets as they face the best team in the NHL by a country mile. Tampa Bay has 17 more points than the second place Bruins, a team who are on a 9-0-1 run themselves. While most teams in contention are closing in on 40 wins the Lightning stand alone having hit 50 this past Saturday.
As per Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press the only player from last game not skating today is Bryan Little.
Jets projected lines, D pairs and starting goalie:
Laine – Scheifele – Wheeler
Connor – Hayes – Ehlers
Beaulieu – Trouba
Kulikov – Myers
Chiarot – Niku
Coach Maurice: On the first game between the Jets/Bolts and what he expects tonight. On the play of Tampa this season. Facing a player like Nikita Kucherov. With how they’ve played the last few games does it get them set for a game like this? Does this Tampa game come up at the perfect time for the Jets? Does he see similarities between this Lightning team and the 90s Red Wings teams? His relationship with Bolts coach Jon Cooper. Share same core values. Is what Tampa is doing provide a template for other teams in the NHL? Is there something the league can do to help coaching development? Coaching clinics. Did he have a mentor?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
Puck drop is at 6:30 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.