Where: Canada Life Centre, Winnipeg, AB, Canada
When: Sunday, May 1, 2022; 11:00am PDT
Wait, who are we playing? Landlubber’s Guide to the Winnipeg Jets
Local TV: ROOT Sports Plus (find channel in your area)
Local Radio: 950 AM KJR
SiriusXM: Channel 91
Last Time Out
It was Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown the last time these two teams met. Vince Dunn scored a power play goal early in the first period, followed by another tally from Kraken Legend Marcus Johansson. The Jets found the twine with 13 seconds left in the first frame, and rode that momentum in the second to take a 3-2 lead. Jordan Eberle tied it up with 13 minutes to go, but a late push by Winnipeg brought home the win. Final score: 5-3 Jets.
Stats, Streaks, & Droughts
“Streaky” has described the Jets’ season from the jump. Their current three-game winning streak was preceded by a four-game losing streak, and so on, and so on back to October. The Jets have a 38-32-11 record overall, 5-4-1 in their last 10, and are looking to close out their season at home with their fourth straight win.
The Kraken broke a four-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks during the last home game on Friday, giving the fans a send-off with their third shutout of this inaugural season. A couple of forwards are standing out for the Kraken of late: Yanni Gourde has seven points (4G + 3A) in his last nine games; and rookie Matty Beniers is looking like the real deal with eight points (3G + 5A) in his nine games since joining the club.
Players To Watch
The Jets’ offense is led by left wing Kyle Connor, who has 92 points (46G + 46A) on the year, including this beauty:
Next up is center Mark Scheifele with 29 goals and 70 points; his 18.2 shooting percentage leads the team (and ranks among the league leaders):
There are two players tied for third place in points, the first of whom is Pierre-Luc DuBois, whose 15 power play goals is more than any two other teammates combined:
And the other is captain Blake Wheeler, seen here making Kraken Legend Mark Giordano cry, with 59 points in 64 games:
Injuries, Illnesses, Additions, & Scratches
Two injuries to make note of for the Jets today. The aforementioned Mark Scheifele missed the game on Friday against Calgary and will not see any action today. Additionally, forward Cole Perfetti is on LTIR and will not suit up. With it being the Jets’ last home game of the season I see no reason why starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck wouldn’t get the call for Winnipeg.
For Seattle, we finally got confirmation from Alison Lukan of ROOT Sports NW fame that defenseman Haydn Fleury is out of the lineup with an injury. He had returned from injury for two games in April, but had since vanished from the lineup with no explanation. He, along with forwards Jaden Schwartz and Brandon Tanev, and defenseman Vince Dunn, will not be in action tonight. Winger Kole Lind returned from a brief injury on Friday against San Jose; expect forward Daniel Sprong to slot back into the lineup tonight. With Chris Driedger getting the start against the Sharks, we would expect Philipp Grubauer to be between the pipes against Winnipeg.
Odds & Ends
- Be sure to note the early start at 11:00am Seattle time. The game will be available on ROOT Sports Plus; see the “Coverage” section above for the link to help you find the channel on your cable provider. Or, if you have one of those smart remotes, you can also press the microphone button and say, “Root Sports Plus.”
- This will be Kraken Legend Mason Appleton’s first game against his former club since being sent back to Winnipeg at the trade deadline. Appleton has two goals and one assist for the Jets in the 18 games he’s played since returning to the club that exposed him in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
- The Jets didn’t make the playoffs this year either, but even so the gulf between the two clubs in terms of individual performances are jarring. To wit: the Jets have six players above the 40 point mark — the Kraken have three. Team save percentage for the Jets is .907 (tied for 9th in the league) vs. Seattle’s is .880 (dead last). And it wasn’t like Winnipeg was knockin’ on the door, either — they finished 10 points behind the second wild-card team in the West. So that just shows you how far the Kraken have to go to get into contention next season.
- One final note that pertains to the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. If the Kraken beat Winnipeg, they will leap-frog over the Philadelphia Flyers in the overall standings, landing in fourth-last instead of third-last. That decreases the odds of Seattle picking in the top three overall from 30.4% to 21.3%. It also would mean the Kraken’s odds of picking in the top five drop from 100% to less than 80%. Just bringing this up to note that there is a silver lining to a loss today.