Winnipeg Jets Game #48: Can the Canucks


The Winnipeg Jets will seek to complete a season sweep of the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night at Bell MTS Place.

The Winnipeg Jets will host the Vancouver Boeser’s….ahem…Canucks in their second game in as many nights. Returning back from Calgary with a hard-fought shootout win they will look to take the full 6 points from their three season meetings with Vancouver. The Canucks also had little time to unpack after getting thumped in Edmonton Saturday night 5-2.

Vancouver has the second-worst record in the Western Conference (36 points) while Winnipeg is one point behind Nashville for the Central Division lead. The Sedin’s are still scoring as Daniel had a power-play goal in the Edmonton loss. Rumor has it that they are still looking to play next season:

"It’s sounding like Vancouver Canucks pending unrestricted free agents Daniel and Henrik Sedin want to come back for one more season. There haven’t been contract talks between the Sedin’s and Canucks.– Chris Johnston reported last night on Hockey Night in Canada “Headlines”"

Engine Failure?

The Winnipeg Jets have three goals in their last three games. Normally that would be cause for concern for a high scoring team. However, last night in Calgary the offense was in full attack as the Jets used their speed and transition game to drive their offense. It took an impressive game by Calgary’s Smith to take it to the shootout. Expect more speed against a Vancouver team whose defense can be victimized by the Jets transition.

The Winnipeg Jets Mathieu Perreault puts a shot in on Calgary's Mike Smith in their shootout win on Saturday.
CALGARY, AB – JANUARY 20: Mathieu Perreault /

No Start For Hutch

Winnipeg Jet’s Michael Hutchinson will not get the start Sunday as Hellebuyck was confirmed to play. Hutchinson was recalled from their AHL affiliate Manitoba to replace the concussed Steve Mason. If there was a time to showcase an unwanted goaltender before the trade deadline, it’s now. If there was a game to give the back-up some ice time, it would be in back-to-back games. But Jets coach Paul Maurice is bucking conventional wisdom and sticking with the hot hand in Hellebuyck. If Hutchinson will get his chance to prove the Jets wrong with his play, it is not looking like it will be anytime soon.


For the Winnipeg Jets: Adam Lowry is still out with an upper-body injury and will not be activated for Sunday’s game against the Canucks. Steve Mason is still out with a concussion and no timeframe of return. Shawn Matthias has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury and his status is unclear for Sunday. Mark Scheifele is still out until February.

For the Vancouver Canucks: Erik Gudbranson will be a game-time decision due to back spasms. Bo Horvat has been out since the beginning of December with a fractured ankle and his return time is unclear. Derek Dorsett is technically on the Injured Reserve list, but his cervical disc herniation and related complications are expected to end his hockey days. Get well soon Derek.

Three Things To Watch For

Brock Boeser – The rookie sensation is giving fans in Vancouver hope since before spring 2013 when…..that….happened. Boeser has 22 goals and 19 assists for an impressive 41 points. He is second in rookie points behind the Islanders Mathew Barzal. However, his 22 goals are far in the lead over Barzal’s 16. His 17 minutes a game of ice time is close to 2nd among rookies along with Barzal. The resilient Charlie McAvoy is sporting an impressive 22 minutes a night for the rookie TOI lead.

The Jets Transition Game – While they were handcuffed in Chicago and Minnesota, Winnipeg found their legs and used their speed to kick-start their offense against Calgary. While they only were able to solve Mike Smith once in regulation, I credit that more to Smith’s play than to the Jets offense. Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers had a heck of a game and should be keys to success in this one also.

Next: Jets Douse Flames in Shootout

Connor Hellebuyck – The Jets netminder continues to be their best player game in and game out. Take some time and just watch his positioning and cool in net. The Vezina hopeful will once again try to dominate Vancouver’s offense and take the Jets back to the Central division crown.