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Clinton's Five Storylines - WPG @ EDM

Scheifele's strong play, Connor close to a milestone as Jets head to Edmonton

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

The Winnipeg Jets are trying to build off a shutout win over Washington, but have another injury to add to the growing list as they take on the Edmonton Oilers.

Here are the Five Storylines:


The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers will face off twice in a span of 12 days (including tonight) to close out the season series.

This comes after the two teams first played against each other way back on October 20, when the Jets earned a 1-0 shootout win over the Oilers at Bell MTS Place.

Heading into action Saturday, the Oilers are third in the Pacific Division at 33-23-8 and are unbeaten in their last three on home ice.

Anytime the Oilers come up on the schedule, the focus is on defending Leon Draisaitl - who leads the NHL in points with 99 - and Connor McDavid, who is fourth in the NHL in points with 87.

"We're big time players too," Jets captain Blake Wheeler said of his line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, who could line up against Edmonton's two super stars throughout the night. "There is a responsibility we have. Obviously you try and produce offensively, but you have to play those guys a certain way. If you're going to give us easy offence, you're going to pay for it, and it's the same the other way.

"Our game has to be a certain way to be successful, and it's really about how much time we can spend in the offensive zone."


Edmonton's power play sits atop the NHL standings at 28.6 per cent, but their penalty kill is nearly just as good. At 84.1 per cent, it's second in the league only to San Jose.

However, a deeper dive into Winnipeg's 24th ranked penalty kill shows an interesting stat. Since January 6, only one team kills penalties better than Edmonton - the Jets.

Since that date, the Jets are killing penalties at a rate of 88.3 per cent. In the month of February alone, the Jets have killed off 93.9 per cent of the shorthanded situations they've faced.

"It's more of a collective effort," said Nick Shore. "It starts with the face-offs, if we can win a face-off it helps kill off the majority of time there at the beginning. We're doing a good job of not giving up too much and when we are, our goalies are there to make some big saves."


When Kyle Connor scored his 32nd goal of the season on Thursday against Washington, he became one step closer to a career milestone.

The next goal he scores will be the 100th of his National Hockey League career.

When he gets to that mark, Connor could be the fifth member of the 2015 NHL Draft class to reach that century mark in goals. He's also six points shy of being the seventh member of that class to reach 200 career points.


Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist in the win over the Capitals two nights ago, and by doing so, he extended his point streak to six games. Over that span, he's spread the offence around, scoring five times and adding five assists.

It's Scheifele's third point streak of five games or more this season. His longest of the campaign went from December 3-17, when he had seven goals and 12 points as part of a seven-game point streak.


Patrik Laine will not play against the Oilers due to the lower-body injury he sustained against the Washington Capitals.

Head coach Paul Maurice lists the forward (as well as defenceman Josh Morrissey, who also won't play in Edmonton) as day-to-day.

This is the first game Laine has missed since missing two games on October 29 and November 1.

Mason Appleton will take Laine's spot with Cody Eakin and Nikolaj Ehlers.

"Mason has moved up and down," said head coach Paul Maurice.

Mason has spent some time with Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers, so he's had time with those kind of players. He was good there. What we see in Mason now is that maturity. Whether he's playing with Blake Wheeler or he's out with the fourth line, his game doesn't change anymore."

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