SURVIVING WITH KEY PIECES OUT OF LINEUP
Although the Jets fell 7-4 in Anaheim to begin their three-game Pacific Division road trip on Tuesday, they still managed to score four times without Patrik Laine and Adam Lowry in their lineup. Paul Maurice said he liked their offence despite the fact that they have been faced with key pieces not being on the game night roster. Per Natural Stat Trick - Winnipeg generated 56 chances at 5-on-5 including 26 chances in the third period against the Ducks. The team is trending in the right direction even with a big chunk of their offence out again tonight.
LITTLE OR NO LITTLE?
Since returning from a concussion, Bryan Little has been nothing short of fantastic for the Jets. He has four points in four games this season with a three game point streak on the line. Little left practice yesterday and will take warm-up before the game against the Sharks this evening and is a game time decision. The Jets being short two of their top three centres against San Jose will be a challenge if Little can't go.
If Little can't go this evening there is a chance that C.J. Suess makes his NHL debut tonight for the Jets - provided the Jets opt for an 11 forwards and seven defenceman combination. Suess had an injury filled season in his first pro campaign with the Manitoba Moose last season but is healthy and has been productive for Pascal Vincent this season. Maurice touched on the heavy learning curve Suess and any player that comes from college or junior have to go through to become efficient at the professional level.
SCHEIFELE READY FOR ANOTHER BREAKOUT
After recording four goals and eight assists in the team's first eight games, Mark Scheifele production has dropped off with one assist in his last five contests. The team's top centre - like the rest of the top six forwards (outside of maybe Nikolaj Ehlers) - is looking to provide more offence.
"You've got six guys there that don't have, for the most part, the numbers that they would want," said Paul Maurice.
"Especially after their start, right? They had a couple of big number nights. More importantly is the pressure that comes when we're not scoring five on five. If our power play is not going right, they want to do more and that usually doesn't work into getting more done."
San Jose is off to a surprising 4-8-1 start and are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins to close out a five game road trip which they dropped three straight.
"They're going to be snarly," said Paul Maurice of the Sharks.
"We're getting their best tonight."
With seven goals notched on his belt in the 2019-20 season, former Jet Evander Kane currently leads the Sharks in scoring and ranks third in total points.