After winning the first four games, the Winnipeg Jets will look to sweep the season series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
The Jets are coming off a loss to the Minnesota Wild, dropping their home record against Central Division opponents to 6-1-0 this season. They sit two games below .500 on the season and haven’t been above that mark since November 17. The good news for the team is they have won the past four games against the Blackhawks, outscoring them 14-5 in the process.
The Blackhawks also faced the Wild in their last game, squeaking by in overtime 4-3. Jonathan Toews had an assist, giving him five points in his last three games. Over the past month, Toews has 13 points in 12 games, to lead the team during that span. The Blackhawks will need the Winnipeg-native to be at his best again tonight.
This will finish the season series between the Jets and Blackhawks, which is too bad for fans. It will be an entertaining game between two teams that are becoming true rivals.
Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre – 7:00 p.m. CST
Broadcast channels – TSN3, CSN-CH
2016-17 Season Series: Nov 15 – Chicago (0) at Winnipeg (4)
Dec 4 – Winnipeg (2) at Chicago (1)
Dec 27 – Winnipeg (3) at Chicago (1)
Jan 26 – Winnipeg (5) at Chicago (3)
Winnipeg Jets – 25-27-4 – 54 Points
Home Record: 13-12-1
Hot Players: Jacob Trouba, Mark Scheifele
Key Injuries: Tyler Myers, Marco Dano, Ben Chiarot, Ondrej Pavelec
Chicago Blackhawks – 33-17-5 – 71 Points
Away Record: 15-10-1
Hot Players: Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Ryan Hartman
Key Injuries: none
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Ondrej Pavelec went down with an injury during the second period of the Jets’ last game. Connor Hellebuyck came in and was perfect in relief. He gets a chance to start his first game since January 26 against the same opponent. Hellebuyck has been outstanding against the Blackhawks this season, posting a .960 save percentage while only allowing five goals in four games, all of them wins.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Blackhawks ended an eight-game losing streak to the Wild on Wednesday and are hoping to keep themselves from a five-game losing streak against another Central Division opponent. The Blackhawks are playing their second of three games in four nights after beating the Wild yesterday. Meanwhile, the Jets have had two full days off, are starting a fresh goalie and will see Ben Chiarot return from injury.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Blackhawks and Jets have a lot more history than what happens on the ice. Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was assistant GM for the Blackhawks when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. Dustin Byfuglien was drafted by the Blackhawks and also won the Cup with them in 2010. Both Toews and Duncan Keith were born in Winnipeg. Jordan Tootoo was actually born in Churchill, Manitoba, and played his Junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings, just three hours west of Winnipeg. And Patrick Kane and Blake Wheeler played together at the 2014 Olympic Games for Team USA. None of those connections will matter once the puck drops.
Catch the game tonight at 7:00 p.m. local time, and comment below with your predictions for the final score.