Winnipeg Jets: Who Will be the Jets’ Third Pair for Game One?

Winnipeg Jets, Paul Maurice. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets, Paul Maurice. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Winnipeg Jets are only one day away from starting their 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs campaign, Paul Maurice and the Jets coaching staff still have many major lineup decisions to make.

Heading into the last month of the season the Jets had a bit of a roster battle for the sixth defenseman spot between Jordie Benn, who was acquired via trade at the deadline, Logan Stanley, and Ville Heinola.

Subsequently, Tucker Poolman has been out of the lineup since May 8 and has missed the Jets’ final three games of the season.

This now leaves the Jets’ coaching staff with an interesting decision of which two defensemen to start on the third pairing for tomorrow’s crucial game one.

The Winnipeg Jets may rely on a pairing of Logan Stanley and Jordie Benn for game one

All four of these players have been full participants in the practices leading up to game one. Ville Heinola has practiced on a pair with Tucker Poolman, while Logan Stanley has been paired up with Jordie Benn.

The interesting thing to note is that in the final three regular season games for Winnipeg, Maurice has dressed Benn and Stanley and played them on a pair together while scratching Heinola and Poolman.

The Jets had a 2-1-0 record in those three contests with Benn having one point and a +3 plus/minus and Stanley recording no points, but also finished with a +3 rating.

Winnipeg will also be looking to shut down the Oilers’ outstanding forward group. There is a strong case to be made that a pair of Stanley and Benn provides the Jets with a better matchup because they are shut down, physical defensive defensemen compared to Poolman and Heinola, who are more offensive and less physical.

Considering the recent games and the matchup at hand, all signs point to Stanley and Benn as the Winnipeg Jets’ third defensive pairing for the opening game of this series.

Winnipeg Jets Fans: Who do you think the Winnipeg Jets should start as their final defensive pairing for game one? Leave your comments below!

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*All Stats Provided by the NHL*