The Winnipeg Jets will attempt to prolong a three-game win streak after they go to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
Winnipeg performed the primary sport of a back-to-back set on Thursday, profitable 5-2 over the host St. Louis Blues. Jets heart Mark Scheifele recorded two assists, together with his 600th profession level when he arrange Blake Wheeler’s power-play objective that made it 3-0 within the second interval.
The Jets stay tied for the Central Division lead with the Dallas Stars, who additionally received on Thursday. Winnipeg’s success is a shocking growth, notably in a division that options the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche and with the Jets broadly thought-about to have wanted a tradition change within the offseason.
A part of that alteration was bringing in former Stars head coach Rick Bowness, who made the tough determination to strip Wheeler of the captain’s “C.”
That call seemingly is paying dividends, as Wheeler has responded to dropping the captaincy by placing up spectacular offensive numbers. The objective in opposition to the Blues was his eighth of the season, a part of a two-point night time that elevated Wheeler’s level whole to 24 in 25 video games.
“Blake was in a position to step again and embrace the change, he’s been a pacesetter with out having to be a pacesetter,” Bowness mentioned earlier this week. “In doing that we gave different gamers extra accountability, and Blake has merely accomplished his job so nicely. He’s turned any detrimental right into a constructive.”
The Blackhawks, however, have skilled extra negatives than positives this season.
Chicago enters play Friday tied for the second-lowest level whole within the NHL and is coming off back-to-back shutout defeats.
In the newest setback, Chicago fell to the red-hot New Jersey Devils 3-0 on Tuesday in Newark, N.J. The Blackhawks solely mustered 24 photographs, together with simply 4 within the third interval.
“We’re simply not getting any puck luck, however it goes like that,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson mentioned after that loss. “I believe it’s a must to create your individual. You must simply bear down on just a few of these probabilities and try to create just a little bit extra offensive zone time.”
The struggles in Chicago have solely added to the continuing saga with long-time stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
The longtime faces of the franchise who lifted three Stanley Cups for the Blackhawks are each within the ultimate 12 months of their contracts and will likely be unrestricted free brokers in the summertime.
With every Chicago loss, the probability of Kane and Toews waiving their no-movement clauses to get traded in season goes up.
Kane is main Chicago with 20 factors in 25 video games this season. Toews is third on the staff with 14 factors in 24 video games.
If there’s a profit for Chicago, it’s that Winnipeg is finishing a back-to-back and needed to journey on Thursday night time after its sport in St. Louis.
The Jets additionally possible will flip to backup goalie David Rittich, who has an .881 save proportion in 5 begins. The Jets’ No. 1 goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, ranks fourth within the NHL this season with a 2.26 goals-against common and second with a .932 save proportion.
Chicago possible will begin Arvid Soderblom in objective. The rookie has a 3.19 GAA and a .906 save proportion in 12 video games this season.
–Area Degree Media