REST WORKING FOR JETS
After a hectic start to the NHL season with nine games in 15 days, the schedule has lightened up a bit for the Winnipeg Jets. The team closes the month with four games in ten days and is 2-0 with three or more days between games. The Jets haven't played since the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic and they had Sunday off in California.
ROTATING TOP SIX
Paul Maurice mentioned before the team left for Regina that the top six forwards would be moving around. It looks like Kyle Connor will be back with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler for tonight's game with the Anaheim Ducks. The trio spent some time together in the third period at the Heritage Classic and out chanced the Flames 3-1. That put Patrik Laine, Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers back together as well.
"We put up some offence and our pace picked up," said Maurice yesterday.
"We are not generating in those six players as much as we like too."
LAINE QUESTION MARK
Patrik Laine was hurt yesterday during practice and is a question mark for the game this evening. The Finn leads the team in assists and become the sixth player in franchise history to record 10+ assists in the team's first 12 games of a season - and third to do so since the club relocated to Winnipeg (also Blake Wheeler in 2017-18 and Toby Enstrom in 2012-13).
If Laine isn't available, in addition to Lowry being out due to his two game suspension, the recall for Logan Shaw could prove to be for more than insurance purposes.
POWER PLAY DROUGHT OVER
Josh Morrissey's power play goal tied the Heritage Classic at one and also ended an 0-14 drought with the man advantage. The Jets defenceman currently leads the team in power play points with five (1G, 4A). Blake Wheeler who has led the team in power play points the last four seasons is looking for his first point with the man advantage. It's just a matter of time before that happens.
Gone is long time Jets' nemesis, Corey Perry. Dallas Eakins is the new head coach in Anaheim and has the team sitting a game over .500 after missing the postseason a year ago. The Ducks just lost a top six forward Ondrej Kase and a top pairing defenceman in Josh Manson to injuries. Anaheim added the number three overall pick from the 2010 NHL Draft, Erik Gudbranson to help replace Manson. After starting the season 3-0, the Ducks are 4-6 in their last 10 games.