Note: The Jets returned to the ice on Thursday for practice as they got set for today’s regular season finale against the Leafs. There were a couple of interesting lineup notes for today including the fact that Andrew Copp is not playing, Tucker Poolman was in a non-contact sweater and Connor Hellebuyck gets the start in net. Check back to see the pre-game report for potential updates as well as for the media availability from head coach Paul Maurice. Puck drop is at 7 PM CDT. Join us afterwards for our post-game show here (be sure to smash that like/subscribe button).
Note II: The Moose will put their 12 game points streak (10-0-0-2) to the test against Belleville in the second game of this four game series which will conclude their 2021 season. It will be a 6 PM CDT puck drop.
Note III: Worth noting that the series schedule between the Jets and Oilers was released on Thursday and you can see it here.
Note IV: A reminder that you can watch ‘Live with Kenny and Renny’ featuring Sean Reynolds and Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet which starts at 9 AM and which will be available on their YouTube channel.’
The Athletic Winnipeg: Jets say high-stakes hockey will bring out their playoff best, but can they will themselves out of a slump? (Paywall). It is certainly going to be a tall task as Murat lays out in his latest piece.
TSN: Jets searching for a way to slow down McDavid. And I’m sure if they figure out a blueprint the rest of the league would pay them for that knowledge. McDavid is gonna do damage but it is pretty much trying to keep it to a minimum as opposed to the idea of eliminating him as a threat. Although as Travis shows there are some players on the Jets who have been able to not get demolished against 97.
Sportsnet: Jets look to raise collective game to new level in regular-season finale. While the final score ultimately won’t matter, the way the Jets play will be very important as they look to build some consistency in their game right now.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets-Oilers the talk of the Zoom room. Hard to really get up for what is essentially a glorified exhibition game.
Winnipeg Free Press: Opening round of playoffs includes rare back-to-back games. (Paywall). That definitely caught my eye when I saw that the NHL had released the schedule for the North Division teams.
Winnipeg Free Press: Tilt against Maple Leafs last chance to get game right before playoffs. (Paywall). While it is a chance to reinforce some good behaviour it really does feel like both squads will be mostly focused on finishing the game as healthy as they can be.
Global News: Jets prepare for pre-playoff tune up in season finale vs. Toronto. This game almost seems forgotten as both teams likely are already looking ahead to their next opponents which will kick off their 2021 post-season.
NBC Sports: Jets vs Oilers preview. The stories they are watching include: 1) Can McDavid (and Draisaitl) conjure playoff magic after historic regular season? 2) Connor vs. Connor. 3) Will the Jets get the most from their best players? 4) Two impressive special teams units — especially Edmonton’s power play. 5) One big question for Edmonton: Sorry Mike Smith, it’s goaltending. 6) One big question for Winnipeg: Are they falling apart? 7) Series prediction.
Edmonton Sun: Huddy factor not on Oilers’ side against Jets these playoffs. Guess the edge that many are predicting the Oilers have over the Jets isn’t quite that significant (kidding of course).
Sportsnet: Hellebuyck will be critical for Jets with ‘enormous task’ vs. Oilers. Mike Futa joins Sportsnet Central to address the ‘State of the Nation’, taking a look at the four Canadian playoff teams as they head towards the postseason.
Sportsnet: Some internal motivation for Jets to beat Maple Leafs at home. NHL insider Ken Wiebe joins Sean Reynolds to discuss everything Jets vs. Maple Leafs, with Friday marking the final regular season game, and look ahead to the playoff series vs. the Oilers, starting next Wednesday.
Sportsnet: Lowry on differences in defending Marner & Matthews vs. McDavid & Draisaitl. Jets forward Adam Lowry compares how the team approaches defending against Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews to how they defend against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, says McDavid is in a league of his own.
TSN: Dreger seeing some trends from Jets that won’t bode well against Oilers. Slumps in the NHL are nothing new, but what has been seen from the Jets is more than a slide, and TSN Hockey insider Darren Dreger has noticed some trends that could really hurt Winnipeg against the Oilers. On the other side of the equation, Edmonton will rely heavily on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to lead the way, but who else will they need to pitch in to have success in the series? TSN’s Jeff O’Neill shared his thoughts on that.
TSN: Jets trying to dissect and fix regular season struggles against Oilers. Winnipeg had a dismal 2-7 record against the Edmonton in the North Division this season, and the club is desperately working to analyze and fix the mistakes made against the Oilers, ahead of their first round clash next week. TSN’s Sara Orlesky has more.
TSN: Health the top priority for Jets ahead of final regular season game. The Jets will wrap up their regular season tomorrow night against the Maple Leafs, and keeping the roster injury free will be the team’s top priority ahead of the playoffs. TSN’s Sara Orlesky has more.