Winnipeg Jets Gameday Preview: Chicago Blackhawks – 11/27/22

Coming off Friday night’s (Nov. 25) 5-4 overtime win, the Winnipeg Jets prepare to take on the Chicago Blackhawks this Sunday. While both teams are battling in the Central Division, the Jets have currently claimed third place while the Blackhawks are sitting in the last slot with a six-game losing streak. As the injury-riddled Jets take on the struggling Blackhawks, let’s dive into what to expect for this matchup.

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines:

Forwards

Blake Wheeler – Mark Scheifele – Cole Perfetti

Kyle Connor – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Sam Gagner

Jansen Harkins – Adam Lowry – Michael Eyssimont

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – David Gustafsson – Saku Maenalanen

Defenseman

Dylan DeMelo – Josh Morrissey

Neal Pionk – Brenden Dillon

Nate Schmidt – Dylan Samberg

Starting Goalie

Connor Hellebuyck

Chicago Blackhawks Projected Lines: 

Forwards

Patrick Kane – Max Domi – Andreas Athanasiou

Taylor Raddysh – Jonathan Toews – Philipp Kurashev

Jujhar Khaira – Jason Dickinson – Colin Blackwell

Boris Katchouk – MacKenzie Entwistle – Reese Johnson

Defenseman

Seth Jones – Jack Johnson

Jake McCabe – Caleb Jones

Connor Murphy – Jarred Tinordi

Starting Goalie

Petr Mrazek


Latest News & Highlights


Standout Storylines

Nikolaj Ehlers Out 6-8 Weeks With Injury

Unfortunately, the Jets revealed forward Nikolaj Ehlers will be out for six to eight weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery on Wednesday. Last season, the forward accumulated 55 points over a 62-game span.

Nikolaj Ehlers Winnipeg Jets
Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ehlers has played 480 games in a Jets jersey, where he put up over 20 goals in six separate seasons, 164 total goals, and 197 assists. The first-round, 2014 Draft pick only played two games this season. 

Currently, the Jets are also missing forwards Mason Appleton and Morgan Barron after they both sustained wrist injuries, and Logan Stanley who has been out since late October with a foot injury. In a press conference, Jets coach Rick Bowness touched on Ehlers’ surgery and commented on how his team has coped with missing three of their top-nine forwards. He said, “Absolutely, we’re missing them. It changes all the formations of the lines and it changes roles.”

Bowness went on to say, “So give the forwards a lot of credit because all the guys that we’ve asked to adjust their role, their minutes, and even the guys that they’re playing with, they’ve all done a good job.”

Related: 3 Winnipeg Jets That Have Improved under Bowness

The good news is, Barron and Stanley are on the mend. Let’s just hope the Jets don’t lose any more players in the meantime. 

Jonathan Toews Earns 500 NHL Assists

On Wednesday night (Nov. 23), the Blackhawks faced the Dallas Stars, where the team blew a 4-1 lead in the third period. The Stars scored five goals in the third, extending the Blackhawks’ losing streak to five games. The Stars tied the game in the last 10 minutes of the matchup becoming the first team in NHL history to be trailing by a minimum of three goals that late into the game and win in regulation. 

While there weren’t many bright spots in this one for the Blackhawks, a light did shine on Jonathan Toews. The captain earned his 500th NHL assist as Connor Murphy set off the goal horn in the second period. 

The third-overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft had a great start to the 2022-23 season, tallying 10 points in his first 13 games. After his speedy start, the captain’s season has definitely slowed down. He has only earned one goal and two assists in his last five games. 

The 34-year-old has spent his entire NHL career with the Blackhawks, playing 1,033 games with the franchise. Regardless of his performance this season, it is undeniable that reaching 500 NHL assists is something to be proud of.

Players to Watch

Winnipeg Jets – Dylan DeMelo

Returning from an upper-body injury, Dylan DeMelo played in his first game back against the Stars Friday night. Before that matchup, the last time DeMelo hit the ice was Nov. 13 against the Seattle Kraken.

Dylan DeMelo Winnipeg Jets
Dylan DeMelo, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The defenseman might still be feeling a little rusty after being off for more than 10 days, but he sure doesn’t look it — he already earned two assists in his first game back. DeMelo is definitely worth keeping an eye on as he rejoins his teammates for his third game since his injury and he’s clearly not being shy about returning to the lineup. 

Chicago Blackhawks – Seth Jones

Out with a right thumb injury, Seth Jones played his first game back against the Stars on Wednesday. It’s clear Jones is ready to give it his all as he scored a goal that looked effortless in his first game back. 

Jones sustained his injury on Oct. 29 against the Buffalo Sabres when he blocked a shot in the second period. Despite his injury, the defenseman finished the game with one assist and 23:55 of ice time. Bringing determination to the rink, Jones is one to watch on Sunday.

Both the Jets and Blackhawks have endured their fair share of roadblocks this season and while the Jets have had a better run so far, we will have to see who comes out on top at the United Center this Sunday. Tune in at 7pm EST to catch all the action!


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