Game Working day: Jets host Oilers in return from holiday getaway split

Be sure to catch the JetsTV Stay Pre-Game Display with Jamie Thomas, Mitchell Clinton & more beginning at 6:00pm CT right here on and the Jets mobile app, as well as YouTube and Facebook Stay.WINNIPEG – After a three-day holiday getaway break, a refreshed Winnipeg Jets team is ready to drop the puck on a quick two-game home stand at Bell MTS Place, beginning tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.”I think you just try to skate, try to get moving. Your brain sometimes takes a little bit to get into it too. So let your legs carry you a little bit, get a good sweat going, and try to get as mentally sharp as fast as you can,” said Blake Wheeler. “The first few shifts, the first period is going to be tough. We just have to grind through it. Just don’t try to make too much happen early on, and we should be alright.”The Jets picked up three of a po sible six points on the road trip prior to the crack, and after doing some line shuffling to try and spark some offence in a 5-2 lo s to the New York Islanders, head coach Paul Maurice went back to the lines that have helped the team to a 20-11-6 record. Video: PREGAME | Blake Wheeler Connor-Scheifele-WheelerEhlers-Little-LaineCopp-Lowry-TanevPerreault-Hendricks-ArmiaMorri sey-TroubaKulikov-MyersChiarot-PoolmanMaurice plans to start the game matching the defensive pair of Josh Morri sey and Jacob Trouba against Connor McDavid, who had Milan Lucic and Je se Puljujarvi on the wings at this morning’s skate.”It’s all about angles. There’s a certain threshold there. There are certain defensemen that you can’t have play against guys with that speed,” said Maurice. “But for the most part, it’s more about the early pick up, the early read, and making positive you’re not behind him, or making certain you’re not beside him when he starts to go. You’re not catching him. Tyler Myers, big long lanky guy, he can get up and down the ice too. So we’ll have other places to go.”The Oilers have won each of their last four games, and are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. That’s helped boost Edmonton’s record to 17-17-2, putting them sixth in the Pacific Division.Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers In the first meeting of the season between the two teams, the Jets picked up a 5-2 win over the Oilers, with Nikolaj Ehlers netting a natural hat trick in the win.”I wouldn’t mind doing it again,” Ehlers said with a grin. “It was a great activity for the whole team. We got our first win, and that got us going. It’s a great team we’re up against tonight, and we have to find a way to win this as well.”With Ehlers and McDavid on the ice, tonight’s game features two of the fastest skaters in the activity. Maurice feels there is a slight difference in the type of speed each player brings to the ice.”Nik is certainly straight line, he’s wickedly fast. But I think Nik has more side-to-side in his video game,” said Maurice. “He’ll cro s the ice more often. Connor is a bigger man, a little longer, can stretch guys out with his speed a little bit, and makes those pa ses into the middle.”I don’t know who wins the straight-line speed contest. For everybody else in the league it doesn’t matter, they’re just faster.”ICE CHIPSDustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom continue to inch toward a return to action.The two have combined to mi s 25 games with lower body injuries – seven for Byfuglien, and 18 for Enstrom.Both players skated this morning prior to the pre-game skate, and Maurice believes Byfuglien is closer to a return than Enstrom.”There’s still healing that has to happen, but the skating can increase to the point that once he gets the green light, he shouldn’t be very far off it,” Maurice said of Byfuglien.”He’s back skating, and once he gets the green light, he’ll be back in the line-up.”- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.comJETS Video game NOTESTonight’s GameThe Winnipeg Jets begin their post-Christmas schedule with a pair of home games, starting tonight against the Edmonton Oilers, who are making their lone trip to Winnipeg this season…The Jets lost 5-2 to the New York Islanders on Saturday to finish a three-game, pre- Christmas road trip with a 1-1-1 record…The Jets welcome those same Islanders to Bell MTS Place on Friday in the second sport of the home stand.Jets vs. Oilers Notes- October’s win in Edmonton ended Winnipeg’s four-game losing streak to the Oilers.- The Jets are 7-7-0 against the Oilers since the franchise moved to Winnipeg in 2011…Five of the Jets seven wins have been by one goal.- The Jets are 3-for-10 (30%) on the power play in their last three games against the Oilers, but just 5-for-9 on the penalty kill.- Nikolaj Ehlers has eight of his 17 goals this season in 11 games against Pacific Division teams, including a hat trick against theOilers.Friendly ConfinesThe Jets hold down one of the best home records in the NHL this season at 12-3-1, good for a .781 points percentage…The Jets have not lost back-to-back home games this season…The Jets are clicking at 35.1% (20-for-57) on the power play at home, which leads the NHL…Winnipeg is 11-for-24 (45.8%) on the power play in their last six home games, having scored at least one power play goal in each of the six games.Welcome Home, For NowHaving played just 16 games at Bell MTS Place this season, the Jets are one of three teams in the NHL that have played the second-fewest home games this season…Only the Carolina Hurricanes, with 15 home games, have played le s…Meanwhile, Winnipeg has Kyle Connor Jersey played more than half of its road schedule as its 21 road games are tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes for the most in the NHL…The discrepancy increases during the next month, as the Jets play five home games to eight road games before beginning a 10-game homestand on Jan. 30 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.Festive First HalfThe Jets are coming out of the Christmas break with their best record since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011 and have a winning record for the third time in six seasons (the 2012-13 season started in January after a labour stoppage)…At 20-11-6, the Jets are two points behind the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues with a activity in hand…The Jets are also two points behind the Blues, Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Western Conference…Here’s a breakdown of how the Jets have looked coming out of the split.2011-12 – 16-14-52013-14 – 16-18-52014-15 – 18-10-2 2015-16 – 15-17-22016-17 – 16-17-32017-18 – 20-11-6Against the PacificWinnipeg is 8-3-0 against the Pacific Division this season, with all three lo ses coming on the road…The Jets were 7-13-1 against the Pacific last season, which marked their first losing record against the Pacific since realignment for the 2013-14 season.Middling DecemberAfter posting the second-best record in the NHL in November with a 9-3-2 mark, the Jets have a 5-5-2 record in December, which is tied for 18th in the NHL…During the past three seasons, the Jets have hovered around .500 in December with a combined record of 17-18-3 since 2015…Winnipeg’s best record in December was 10-3-1 during the 2011-12 season, which won’t be bested this season.WingmanWith an a sist tonight, captain Blake Wheeler moves past Ilya Kovalchuk for the franchise all-time lead in a sists…The pair are tied with 287 a sists…Kovalchuk reached the mark in 593 games, while Wheeler did it in 511 games…Wheeler already has the franchise record for even-strength a sists with 200…This season, Wheeler is tied for third in the NHL with 32 a sists in 37 games.Poolman Nabs His FirstRookie defenceman Tucker Poolman scored his first NHL goal in Saturday’s lo s to the Islanders…He’s the second member of the Jets to score his first NHL goal this season, as Brendan Lemieux scored his first NHL tally Oct. 29 vs. PIT…Poolman is the 191st player to score a goal for the Jets franchise and 50th defenceman.

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