Winnipeg Jets vs Canadiens: The Second Game of Two Preview

The Winnipeg Jets faceoff against the Montreal Canadiens tonight for the second of two games between the sides with puck drop at 6:00 p.m. central time.

The Jets started their five-game road trip on Thursday with an impressive 4-2 victory against the Canadiens which you can read about here.

This is an important road trip for the Jets as they jockey for playoff position in the North division. The Jets go into tonight’s game one point behind second place Edmonton, and with an eight point lead over fourth place Montreal.

The Winnipeg Jets could move into second place with a win tonight combined with an Edmonton loss to Calgary.

This is also the final game for both the Jets and Canadiens before the NHL trade deadline on Monday. The Canadiens made an early move acquiring veteran forward Eric Staal. Trade rumors have surrounded both teams and tonight’s game may be the last before playoff additions are added to both rosters.

Odds

The Action network lists the Jets as the underdogs in tonight’s matchup.

The Jets are typically listed as underdogs when playing in Montreal against the Canadiens. Montreal came out last game extremely flat and never really threatened to win. I suspect tonight the Canadiens will come out fast with the hard forechecking style they are known for.

Where you can Find the Game

TV: CITY, SNE, SNW, TVAS

Radio: 680 CJOB

Projected Lineups

3

Winnipeg Jets 24-13-3

Jets captain Blake Wheeler is out of the lineup again with an official diagnosis of a concussion courtesy of a WWE-style flagrant elbow from Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk. This is the type of injury where the duration varies greatly depending on the severity of symptoms.

In terms of silver linings, I would rather see Wheeler miss regular season games now than miss playoff games. Jansen Harkins who has patiently bided his time on the taxi squad will get the start again on the fourth line.

Harkins looked quick in his return to the lineup and fit in well with veterans Nate Thompson and Trevor Lewis. Paul Maurice juggled the top two lines during the game and has indicated that he will continue to do so to look at different lineups he can utilize in the playoffs.

Connor Hellebuyck will likely get the start again tonight. He was outstanding again in the win on Thursday as the Jets were outshot once again.

All eyes will be on the Jets this weekend in terms of potential trades. Rumors continue about the Jets desire to add a defenseman for the playoffs, whether it is a splashy acquisition like Blue Jackets David Savard or a depth player.

I am torn about adding a defenseman as it would likely mean that Logan Stanley would return to the taxi squad. He was one of my early season predictions as a player I thought could make the jump to the big club this season, and so far has been impressive.

The Jets are projected to lineup like this:

Connor-Scheifele-Copp
Stastny-Dubois-Ehlers
Perreault-Lowry-Appleton
Harkins-Thompson-Lewis

Morrissey-Poolman
Forbort-Pionk
Stanley-DeMelo

Hellebuyck (Brossoit)

4

Montreal Canadiens 17-11-9

Heart and soul type forward Brendan Gallagher is on injured reserve with a broken thumb. With Gallagher out of the lineup, the Habs will need players like Nick Suzuki, Phillip Danault, and Jonathan Drouin to provide more offense.

The Canadiens had 38 shots on goal Thursday night, but their big offensive guns were unable to convert enough.

Starting goaltender Carey Price remains out with a lower-body injury. Jake Allen will likely make the start in goal for the Canadiens.

The Canadiens are expected to lineup like this:

Perry-Suzuki-Anderson
Drouin-Staal-Toffoli
Tatar-Danault-Kotkaniemi
Byron-Evans-Lehkonen

Edmundson-Weber
Kulak-Petry
Romanov-Mete

Allen (Primeau)

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*All Stats Provided by the NHL*