With February behind them the Jets embark on the final five weeks of their schedule and there is no doubt the players and coaches are all looking at the out of town scoreboard when the opportunity arises. Tonight there is but one game that carries huge importance outside of Bell MTS Place and that the Nashville Predators travelling to St. Paul to visit the Minnesota Wild. Nashville and Winnipeg both have 72 points while Minnesota enters Tuesday with 71 points.
The Jets will welcome back an important player to their blueline as Josh Morrissey comes back after missing four games with an upper body ailment. The teams top defenceman will be paired with recently acquired Dylan DeMelo to start against the Sabres.
"We think there's a chance that their games will complement each other," said Paul Maurice.
"Dylan's played enough time against top end players especially this year in the role that he had in Ottawa like Josh has. There's really smart play between the two of them."
LAINE ALSO BACK
The Jets sniper missed the majority of the last two games after he blocked a shot on his first shift last Thursday against the Washington Capitals. Laine had not skated since that until Tuesday when he skated in a blue jersey during the morning skate and Maurice expects that he will play against the Sabres. The Finnish forward is four goals away from scoring 30 goals in his first four NHL seasons.
SCHEIFELE GLAD TO BE BACK WITH WHEELER AND CONNOR
The Jets number one centre was reunited with Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor recently and mentioned on Tuesday morning that those two are his favourite players to play with. Clearly there success goes back to the 2017-18 season and playoffs and not only do they produce offence, the trio constantly faces the other teams best lines as well.
SABRES PLAYING ROLE OF SPOILERS?
Buffalo already beat Winnipeg just over a week ago with a 2-1 victory where the Jets couldn't muster a shot over the last eight minutes. The Sabres are 12 points back of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but are by no means an easy win for the Jets. Ralph Krueger has Buffalo playing a much better defensive structure than in years past.
"Because they closed that game on us pretty well. Like the back half of that third period we weren't able to get through the neutral zone the way we wanted too," said Maurice.
"The difference in the game was they shot some pucks that we didn't. We had maybe more 2-on-1's in that game, they made theirs count."