9–5–4 (22 points; .611%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7 P.M. – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
BALLY SPORTS OHIO
Nearly a year after his sudden (and still unexplained) trade request from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pierre-Luc Dubois makes his return to Nationwide Arena when the Winnipeg Jets come to town for the only time this season.
Don't expect much in the way of applause for the Blue Jackets third overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The Blue Jackets dealt Dubois to the Jets in January, receiving a tremendous haul in return in the form of Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. Laine remains out of the lineup with an oblique injury, but the game will be Roslovic's first time facing the team that drafted him 25th overall in the 2015 draft.
There could be a smattering of applause for another former Blue Jacket, though. Riley Nash, who spent three seasons with Columbus before signing with Winnipeg over the summer, has been used as a fourth-line center this season with the Jets and is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday night.
|46.6%||MONEYPUCK'S ODDS TO WIN||53.6%|
|53.0%||THE 538'S ODDS TO WIN||47.0%|
|33.5%||MONEYPUCK'S PLAYOFF ODDS||57.2%|
|30.0%||THE 538'S PLAYOFF ODDS||61.0%|
|102.5||82 GAME POINT PACE||100.2|
Know The Foe
If not for the play of winger Kyle Connor, Dubois would be the leading candidate for the most valuable Jet. After just eight goals in 41 games following the trade last season, Dubois has already hit double-digit goals this season, scoring ten times in Winnipeg's first 18 games. Add in his six assists, and he's been nearly a point-a-game player through the first six weeks of the season.
Connor, though, has been even more dominant. With 12 goals and 10 assists, the 25-year-old is not only the team leader in points (22), but checks in at 5th overall in the NHL. The pairing of Connor and Dubois has been a regular both in 5-on-5 play and on the power play, and will be a constant threat to score.
Despite the offensive threat from the duo, Winnipeg will enter Wednesday on their second three-game losing streak of the season. The Jets fell in a shootout Thursday in Edmonton and have regulation loses to Vancouver and Pittsburgh.
ROSLOVIC + DOMI = ???
The duo, along with Gregory Hofmann, combined for eight points in Monday's win over the Buffalo Sabres. No doubt about it that they'll be together again Wednesday, and the game will be Domi's first time this season playing in three consecutive games. Including last night, Domi has 7 points in his first six games. He leads all forwards with a +5 plus/minus, and get this: his 5.34 points per 60 minutes total is more than a goal and a half better than anyone else on the team and tied with Leon Draisaitl for the league lead amongst players with at least 60 minutes of ice time this season. The pairing seems to have bonded quickly and will look to have a pre-Thanksgiving feast on the Winnipeg defense.
POWER PLAY POTENTIAL:
Only the Vancouver Canucks have a worse penalty kill rate this season than the Jets, who are allowing a power play goal nearly 34% of the time. The Blue Jackets have had an average power play this season when compared to the rest of the league, though with the significant struggles of recent seasons, even average seems outstanding to the 5th Line. It would be the perfect night for Laine to snipe one (or two) past his former team, but with the ex-Jet sidelined until December, the door is open for rookies Cole Sillinger and Yegor Chinakhov to capitalize on a weak Winnipeg penalty kill.
DEFENSE (AND GOALTENDING) NEED TO COME UP BIG:
The blue line and the goaltending has struggled, but because the Blue Jackets have found other ways to win, that's not been given as much attention as perhaps it should. Columbus has allowed at least three goals in nine of their last 10 games, and some of the competition that's put up four or more — most recently Arizona and Buffalo — have not been known as high-octane offenses. Columbus really needs to not only have a lockdown game on defense, but for Elvis Merzlikins to make the saves he should, and maybe one or two he shouldn't. (That 10th game, by the way? A 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who lead the league in goals per game at 4.00. Go figure.)
LW C RW 59 Yegor Chinakhov 34 Cole Sillinger 93 Jakub Voracek 14 Gustav Nyquist 38 Boone Jenner 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand 16 Max Domi 96 Jack Roslovic 15 Gregory Hofmann 50 Eric Robinson 7 Sean Kuraly 42 Alexandre Texier LD RD 8 Zach Werenski 22 Jake Bean 44 Vladislav Gavrikov 2 Andrew Peeke 5 Gavin Bayreuther 27 Adam Boqvist Starting Goalie Backup 90 Elvis Merzlikins 70 Joonas Korpisalo
*subject to change