The process of beginning to wind down the season begins tonight for the Winnipeg Jets
The Jets (35-33-8) will host the New York Rangers
at the MTS Centre in their second-to-last home date. A 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators
two nights ago effectively ended the Jets' already-thin Stanley Cup Playoff aspirations. They face a four-game road trip that will begin against the Carolina Hurricanes
and continue against Tampa Bay, Florida, and the New York Islanders
"It will be a good test for us against the Rangers," Jets coach Claude Noel
said of a season series in which the Jets have gone winless and have managed only one goal in the clubs' three meetings. "They don't give you very much. The games are usually very heavy. Their battle level is high."
Facing the Rangers in front of another sold-out crowd in Winnipeg should prevent any letdowns for the Jets now, Noel believes.
"Out of respect for what they have given us, how could we come up with anything less?" Noel asked. "The fans here in Winnipeg have been a big factor for us having success here and have been like an extra player, so how could we disrespect the fans by not giving all that we have got?"
will replace Randy Jones
on the Jets' third defensive pairing and partner with Mark Stuart
. Nik Antropov
and Chris Thorburn
remain sidelined with injuries, but they will make the upcoming road trip. Dustin Byfuglien
is battling a nagging bone bruise, but he will dress against the Rangers.
will make his 13th consecutive start, with Chris Mason
Here are the projected lines and pairings for the Jets:
- Bryan Little
- Blake Wheeler
- Alexander Burmistrov
- Kyle Wellwood
- Jim Slater
- Antti Miettinen
- Ben Maxwell
- Spencer Machacek
- Dustin Byfuglien
- Zach Bogosian
- Grant Clitsome