Yesterday was the first official day of spring, but for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Winnipeg Jets, summer is just around the corner as both sit well back of a playoff spot with only a handful of games remaining.
The Jets and Flyers are looking at the strong, if not guaranteed, possibility that they will not be in the playoffs. Sports Club Stats gives them both a less than 1% chance to make the playoffs. The Jets are starting to shut down players, with Shawn Matthias being sent for season-ending surgery, while Tyler Myers, Tobias Enstrom and Jacob Trouba remain injured. The Jets called up Nelson Nogier from the Manitoba Moose on an emergency basis with all the injuries on the backend.
The Flyers, meanwhile, haven’t had the same troubles on the injury front. Steve Mason appeared to get injured on Thursday night but just had the cramps. The Flyers lost to the New Jersey Devils in that game 6-2, before coming back to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Flyers captain, Claude Giroux, has told the media that “no one’s going to give up here til the end of the season.” [Inquirer]
Philadelphia Flyers at Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre – 7:00 p.m. CST
Broadcast channels – TSN3, CSN-PH
2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 17 – Winnipeg (2) at Philadelphia (5)
Winnipeg Jets – 32-33-7 – 71 Points
Home Record: 17-18-1
Hot Players: Josh Morrissey, Blake Wheeler
Key Injuries: Tyler Myers, Ondrej Pavelec, Tobias Enstrom, Jacob Trouba, Shawn Matthias, Paul Postma
Nikolaj Ehlers – Brian Little – Patrik Laine
Mathieu Perreault – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler
Andrew Copp – Adam Lowry – Joel Armia
Marko Dano – Nic Petan – Chris Thorburn
Josh Morrissey – Ben Chiarot
Julian Melchiori – Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart – Brian Strait
Connor Hellebuyck (expected)
Philadelphia Flyers – 33-30-8 – 74 Points
Away Record: 12-19-4
Hot Players: Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier
Key Injuries: Michael Raffl, Brandon Manning, Nick Cousins
Jordan Weal – Claude Giroux – Wayne Simmonds
Travis Konecny – Valtteri Filppula – Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn – Sean Couturier – Matt Read
Chris VandeVelde – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Roman Lybimov
Ivan Provorov – Andrew MacDonald
Michael Del Zotto – Radko Gudas
Nick Schultz – Shayne Gostisbehere
Steve Mason (expected)
1) The Jets have gone back to the offence over the past month, scoring 51 goals in 14 games. That ties them for second in the NHL. In the past three games, the Jets have scored at least four goals, and in the past 14 games, they have scored three or more 12 times.
While 10 of the goals have come from the stick of Patrik Laine, 15 other players have also found the net during that stretch, while the Jets shooting percentage has hovered around 11.8%. Their defensive depth has been tested and beaten, but their offense has made up for it.
2) Steve Mason loves playing the Jets. He is 6-0-1 in his career with a 1.33 GAA and .945 save percentage. He’s expected to start against a highly offensive team, one that the Jets aren’t used to having. The Flyers are looking for their seventh straight win against the Jets, having outscored them 22-10 over the past six.
3) Both teams have gone with the draft and develop model and it shows on their rosters and in their minor league teams. In 2011, the Flyers selected Sean Couturier, while the Jets took Mark Scheifele with the next pick. In 2012, the Jets got Jacob Trouba, who is out with a minor injury. In that same draft, the Flyers picked up Shayne Gostisbehere, who dominated in his rookie year. 2013 saw the Jets add Josh Morrissey and Nikolaj Ehlers in 2014. In the 2015 draft, the Flyers selected Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny in the first round. Of course, the Jets won the lottery and picked up Patrik Laine in 2016.
Catch the game tonight at 7:00 PM local time, and comment below with your predictions for the final score.