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Thomas' Five Storylines - LA @ WPG

Jets are 9-4-1 against Kings in the last 14 meetings

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

FLIP FLOP

Monday's practice showed a change on the Jets power play units. Neal Pionk moved to PP1 with Connor, Scheifele, Wheeler and Laine. Josh Morrissey joins PP2 with Perreault, Little, Ehlers and Roslovic. The reasoning behind this is Pionk is right handed and Morrissey is left handed. Paul Maurice explains:

"The power play works off one side of the ice, it's Wheeler's side of the ice. When you have a one-time option up top, that's a different threat for that killer," said Maurice.

"The strong side forward on that side of the ice has to change his route to take away that pass, or it's a one-timer. When you change that route, it opens up 55 in the slot. It's just that simple."

DEFENSE IMPROVING

Paul Maurice mentioned Monday that there was a sense of relief after blanking the Edmonton Oilers to get the team back to .500 at the 10-game mark of the new season. While the team has scored just two goals in its last two games, the defensive side of things has been very impressive.

"We liked our Islander game, we liked parts of last night's game too. Happy? I think more in the context of the game we've kind of got a new back end there," said Maurice.

"We got a shutout. Our goaler (Connor Hellebucyk) was real good. But they competed real hard, but they've been doing that every game. We haven't been getting positive results. Some nights we're not scoring a lot of five-on-five to take some pressure off those guys (the defence)."

REUNITED

As good as Andrew Copp played at centre to start the season, he immediately fit in nicely with longtime linemate Adam Lowry and Jack Roslovic. The trio had some extended o-zone time against the Oilers and went up against the McDavid line numerous times on Sunday night. Roslovic seems to be getting closer and closer to breaking out and once that happens, the Jets will have three dangerous lines to give other teams fits.

CHANGE ON THE BACKEND

Tucker Poolman had a solid effort alongside Josh Morrissey as the two had been building some good chemistry. Poolman will not play tonight against the Kings with a minor injury so in comes veteran defenceman Anthony Bitetto. Bitetto missed the last two games with a lower body injury and is tied for second on the team in hits with 19.

NOT AS MUCH DOUGHTY

For years you could count on LA Kings defenceman Drew Doughty playing 25 or more minutes a night. That has not been the case to start the 2019-20 campaign for the former Norris Trophy winner. According to Kings Insider Jon Rosen, Doughty is skating 23:54 per game, the 23rd highest average in the league. It's 2:42 off his pace last year. The big reason behind this is new head coach Todd McLellan.

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