If you recall the last time the Jets played at Bell MTS Place, the visiting Los Angeles Kings came in and outskated Winnipeg through the first 30 minutes before the home team got their legs under them. New Jersey is one of the quicker teams in the NHL, so watch to see if the Jets are moving well after a long road trip out west.
"We'll be searching for speed tonight. That'll be the place that we're looking for our indicators. Are we getting to hits that we are supposed to, not that we are running around the ice finishing checks, but are we getting to them," said Paul Maurice this morning.
"Then it's going to be hand speed. Are we moving the puck quick enough? They've got a lot of quickness up front, a lot of good hands that will knock pucks down."
REMEMBER THE COMEBACK
Just over a month ago the Jets staged a comeback for the ages against the same team they are facing tonight, the Devils. Trailing 4-0 in the second period, Winnipeg pushed back and tied the game at four with Neal Pionk scoring his first goal as a Jet at the 12:35 mark of the third. Blake Wheeler finished the comeback in the shootout for a 5-4 Jets victory. Maurice said that they will show some video from that October 4th game of where they were good and where the Jets got hurt. That being said, New Jersey is a much different team than they were a month ago.
"They've got a really big shift on their power play where they've changed their defenceman up top (Sami Vatanen)," said Maurice.
"Now they've scored seven (power play goals) in their last six games."
People are seeing the value that the Jets got from the Rangers in the Jacob Trouba trade, outside of 20th overall pick Ville Heinola. Neal Pionk has been solid in his transition from the Eastern to the Western Conference and played a team high 29:24 in the Jets overtime victory in Vegas on Saturday. In total, Pionk's ice time has been 23 minutes or higher in eight of the Jets 15 games this season and six of those games were wins.
NEW LOOK POWER PLAY
Maurice admitted that the power play unit of Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey hasn't generated enough through the first 10-12 games of the season. So, now after some success with Mathieu Perreault on the top unit, the veteran forward practiced there again on Monday. Laine will be with Nikolaj Ehlers, Bryan Little, Neal Pionk and Jack Roslovic in an effort to get more looks with the man advantage.
New Jersey won in Raleigh on Saturday for the first road victory of the season in four tries. The Devils feature 2019 first overall selection Jack Hughes and P.K. Subban will be playing at Bell MTS Place for the first time in a New Jersey uniform.