The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking to win a 14th straight game as they take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight.
The Blue Jackets have soared over the last 14 games. They are challenging the Penguins for first in the Metropolitan Division with four games-in-hand. They have a league-best goal differential and have only lost five times in regulation this season.
Making matters worse for the rest of the league, they can beat you in multiple ways. The team boasts seven 20-point scorers, and their goaltender is one of the best in the league. It will be a tough task for any team to beat them.
The Winnipeg Jets are the latest team to try to break the streak. They are coming off a big win in Chicago, beating one of the best teams in the NHL for the third time this season. The Jets are looking to win three straight for the first time this season, having won four of their last five. Blake Wheeler has been outstanding for the team lately, scoring five points over the past five games.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre – 7:00 p.m. CST
Broadcast channels – FS-O, TSN 3
2016-17 Season Series: First meeting of the season
Winnipeg Jets – 17-17-3 – 37 Points
Home Record: 10-6-1
Hot Players: Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers
Key Injuries: Tyler Myers
Columbus Blue Jackets – 24-5-4 – 52 Points
Away Record: 10-2-3
Hot Players: Sam Gagner, Sergei Bobrovsky
Key Injuries: none
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] The biggest story line is the Blue Jackets 13-game winning streak. They are one of only six teams in the NHL’s 99-year history to have a winning streak of 13 games or more. They will be looking to cement their place in history tonight, but the Winnipeg Jets, who have a winning record against the Blue Jackets since returning to Winnipeg (10-9-1) will be looking to kick-start their own winning streak, and will not back down easily.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) December 28, 2016
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] You probably didn’t have Sam Gagner on your fantasy team when the year started, but you may want to start considering him. Gagner has scored 14 points over the past 10 games, which puts him at 27 on the season. Another surprise on the team? How good the young players are doing! Alexander Wennberg is already three-quarters the way to a career high in points. Zach Werenski has slotted into the Blue Jackets top pairing quite nicely, with over 20 points on the season already.
The Jets have their own young guns to worry about. The top line of Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers have combined for 92 points on the season, making them one of the most productive first lines in the league. The good things for the Jets (and bad for the rest of the league) is that the line has only been alive for a combined 61 years.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] Bobrovsky has had some ups and downs during his career, but he is on fire now. He is 11-0-0 during the Blue Jackets, with a 1.55 goals against average and a save percentage of .944. That said, he is only 1-5-1 against the Jets during his career.
Connor Hellebuyck has also been good recently. Over his past four games, the young goalie has a save percentage of .938 with a 1.96 goals against average. To beat the Blue Jackets tonight, Hellebuyck will need to be nothing less than perfect.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Winnipeg Jets must love Christmas, because over the past six seasons, they have a 10-3-0 record in games between December 27 – 31. A couple of players on both teams also have some fond memories at Christmas time. Jacob Trouba played with Seth Jones during the 2013 U20 World Championships and won gold with the USA. Scheifele and Boone Jenner also played together during the U20 World Championships in both 2012 and 2013.
Can the streak continue? We’ll find out when the puck drops at 7:00 p.m. CST in snowy Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Judson Rempel was born and raised in the Great White North, skating on ponds and watching hockey every Saturday night in small town Manitoba. When he’s not watching hockey, he’s playing hockey with his son and daughter, and trying to convince his wife to let him watch more hockey.