It will be a 6 pm puck drop at Madison Square Garden as Winnipeg kicks off the second of six games on this road trip. The Rangers have won three straight coming into tonight’s game with the Jets and sit five points back of the second wild card spot in the East. The Jets have won two straight as they try to keep the Predators within sight who sit 1st in the Central by six points.
Coach Maurice confirms only lineup change is Steve Mason gets the start in net.
Morning skate notes:
As per Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun “It’s an optional skate for #NHLJets and Steve Mason is taking the early shot routine normally assigned to the starting goalie. Expecting him to get the call vs #NYR tonight. Would be his first #NHL start since Jan. 5.”.
Via Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press “No Byfuglien, Kulikov, Enstrom, Wheeler, Scheifele, Stastny at morning skate. Lowry and Trouba in yellow no-contact jerseys. Matthias in regular jersey.”.
Jets lines, D pairs and goalies:
Extras: Dano & Tanev.
Injured: Matthias, Lowry, Trouba and Enstrom.
Coach Maurice: On the dates being set for the games in Finland next season. Excitement in the room for the trip to Finland. What makes this a good start for Steve Mason? What are the keys for Mason? Getting Mason into a number of games down the stretch? Update on Enstrom? The depth of Stastny and what it affords him. How does Stastny’s cerebral insight help Laine/Ehlers? How the Jets have learned to play the same way regardless of game condition. Status of Shawn Matthias? Has he seen Laine make adjustments this season? No changes to the lineup? On growing the NHL by going to Finland.
Audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
There was some thought that Tobias Enstrom could play tonight but coach Maurice had this to say about his veteran defenceman “I’m going to be real cautious with him. He could play tonight, he’s gonna want to play I think in New Jersey. Every time we give him a day or two off it gets markedly better. Skated yesterday, was fine today, but I’m holding him out.”
Shawn Matthias was in a regular uniform today during morning skate and the Jets bench boss was asked if his veteran forward is in the same camp as Brandon Tanev who is healthy but trying to find a spot back in the lineup. “He still hasn’t taken a heavy full practice yet, Brandon’s been in a little bit more. That’s part of the challenge that these guys have now. Our schedule says we won’t have full practices and we won’t go heavy in them but he’s out of the (non) contact jersey and he’s able to get banging now.”