BOSTON, Mass. - Since Nov. 4, no player in the NHL has more assists than Nikolaj Ehlers. But he's not taking credit for it.
"I've been feeling well and I feel confident. I use my speed really well and as much as I can, but I am playing with guys that can put it in pretty much I give it to them," Ehlers said. "I feel good out there right now. Hopefully I can keep building this."
In the eight games the Jets have played since that date, Ehlers has points in seven of them, including 11 assists. But while speed may be the 20-year-old's greatest weapon, head coach Paul Maurice says Ehlers has the vision on the ice to make things happen.
"He can get to a real high rate of speed and still see the ice, still make passes, and make those plays," Maurice said. "But because of his speed he has to be watched, he has to be covered, and that speed backs people off his line mates as well.
"We still think he's a shooter, but we do like the idea of a player that can skate and pass the puck, with Mark (Scheifele) who skates well, and with Patrik (Laine) that shoots the way he does, we'd like to see that line, each one of their assets, complement each other."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
Ehlers had one assist in Winnipeg's 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, a defeat that snapped a streak that saw the Jets (9-8-2) go without a regulation loss in five games.
Now the Jets focus on getting back in the win column in the second of five games on the current season-long road trip. But it won't come easy at TD Garden, against a Boston Bruins (10-7-0) team that beat Winnipeg 4-1 back on Oct. 17.
"There are some areas we're going to look to clean up. (Philadelphia) got a lot of high quality chances and a lot of shots from the slot," said Adam Lowry. "Playing Boston, with the way Tuukka (Rask) is playing right now, you can't get in a track meet with them. You can't expect to score four or five goals to win the game."
Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry
Line-up wise, the Bruins will look a bit different tonight than they did in last month's meeting. Patrice Bergeron didn't play in that first meeting, but will tonight. David Pastrnak, who leads Boston with 10 goals, is day-to-day with an upper body injury will not play.
Despite those changes, Adam Lowry believes there are tendencies the Jets can have in the memory bank tonight when they conclude the season series with the Bruins.
"I think our team has changed. We're missing a lot of guys from that game," said Lowry. "We have guys that are playing really well. You look at what Mark (Scheifele) has been able to do the last 12 or so games, that line, and other guys chipping in.
"It's two teams that are playing well, but they definitely look different than earlier on in the year."
Video: PREGAME | Patrik Laine
Michael Hutchinson will get the start in goal for the Jets. Hutchinson is 2-3-2 with a 3.15 goals against average this season.
"Mike has had a real good week. He's played well in his games. I didn't want to leave him out too long," Maurice said. "With a five o'clock start tomorrow we knew we were going to split the goaltenders."
Puck drop is 6 pm CT.
Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers
Drew Stafford took part in the morning skate but will not play tonight. Maurice says he's a possibility for either tomorrow's game against Carolina, or Wednesday night in Minnesota.
"The interesting thing for us, for Minnesota, is we'd be able to get him in a practice, which is what I'd like to do," Maurice said. "Get him out there with some chaos and a lot of bodies moving, get him as close to a game feel."
Bryan Little also skated in a non-contact jersey as he continues his recovery from a lower-body injury sustained in the home opener. Maurice says although Little may be the next injured Jets player to return, he still may be at least another week from getting back in the line-up.
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets continue a five-game road trip tonight with their second and final game of the season against the Boston Bruins…The Bruins defeated the Jets 4-1 at MTS Centre back on Oct. 17…The Jets are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night…Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler did the scoring for the Jets in that game…The Bruins had a three-game winning streak end with a 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night…Winnipeg has a quick turnaround following tonight's game with a 4:00 p.m. (central time) meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes scheduled for Sunday…The rest of the trip is against Central Division opponents with games against the Minnesota Wild (Nov. 23) and Nashville Predators (Nov. 27).
On the Road Again
The Jets are back on the road for the next nine days…Winnipeg has points in five of their last seven road games…This is the longest road trip of the season…When the Jets are finished this trip, they will have played 10 of 13 games away from MTS Centre…The Jets are 3-4-2 on the road this season and have scored 23 goals on the road, which tied for 10th in the NHL.
With 16 games in 29 days and 10 games in the first 17 days, it's been (and continues to be) a long November for the Jets…The Jets are 5-3-2 in November, which places them tied for fifth in the NHL with 12 points…Winnipeg's 33 goals this month is second only to the New York Rangers' 37 goals…Winnipeg has already surpassed the four games they won in all of last November when they earned the least of amount of points in the NHL during that month with a 4-9-1 record (nine points) .
Power Play of Opportunity
Winnipeg has played on the power play a league-leading 116:23, with 113:08 of that being 5-on-4 power play time…The Jets lead the NHL with 122 shots on the power play for an average of 1.8 shots per power play…The Jets have only had one power play in each of their last two games.
Sophomore Nikolaj Ehlers is third in the NHL with 13 assists this season, but most of those have come recently…Since Nov. 4, Ehlers leads the NHL with 11 assists in eight games…No other player has double digit assists since then, while teammate Mark Scheifele is second in that time frame with eight assists…Seven of Ehlers' 13 assists this season have been primary assists.
Six different Jets had a point in Thursday's loss to the Flyers, which extended several scoring streaks. Below is list of players on a scoring streak, including Marko Dano and Nic Petan, who started the season with the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
- Winnipeg is fifth in the NHL with 558 shots this season.
- The Jets are a perfect 6-0 when leading after the second period.
- The Jets lead the NHL with 25 third period goals for and 25 second period goals against.