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Thomas' Five Storylines - ARI @ WPG

Jets play a team from Pacific Division for the first time this season

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets


Winnipeg is coming off a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at Bell MTS Place. Paul Maurice closed his media availability Sunday night with this:

"Don't take this game as permanent," said Maurice.

"We had a tough night tonight. We've been a pretty damn good team. We weren't tonight."

Winnipeg gave up seven goals just once last season and that came on February 20th, 2019 in Denver. The Jets then travelled to Vegas and beat the Golden Knights 6-3 two nights later. The last time they allowed seven on home ice was the season opener in 2017 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They won four of their next five games at Bell MTS Place that season.


No one is happier than the Jets 2018 second round pick ahead of the Jets and Coyotes tonight. Gustafsson will play his first NHL game 478 days after he heard his name called in Dallas.  Gustafsson has a good stick and is a responsible player in his own end of the rink. He will centre a line with Gabriel Bourque and Mason Appleton. Mark Letestu is out day-to-day. 


Connor Hellebuyck has returned to the form that the Jets need in his last three starts. After giving up five in the opener in New York, Hellebuyck has allowed five goals in three games since the loss to the Rangers. His save percentage over those appearances is .953 to go along with a 1.67 goals against average. The Jets only play three games this week with no back-to-backs, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Hellebuyck in all three on home ice. 


Right at the start of the morning skate the Jets went to work on the power play. Although the team has goals with the man advantage in back-to-back games for the first time this season, it still needs some fine tuning. Keep in mind the team didn't get to work on it a whole lot during the pre-season and training camp because both Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine were involved in contract discussions. Winnipeg is 23rd in the National Hockey League heading into action tonight.


Arizona lost one of their best defencemen when Niklas Hjalmarsson went down the other night. That being said, Rick Tocchet has this team playing fast, their gaps are getting better and they have played well in losses to unbeaten Colorado and 5-1 Boston. Arizona is one of four teams without a single power play goal this season but any team that has Phil Kessel, Clayton Keller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson on its top power play unit is good for a breakout night soon.

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