Maple Leafs-Jets Preview
After finding their way to the penalty box too often during
their recent slide, the Winnipeg Jets took major strides toward
solving those issues in their last game.
The Jets will try to keep penalties to a minimum and win their
fourth straight at home on Thursday night when they take on the
Maple Leafs, one of the best road teams in the NHL.
Winnipeg (4-4-1) was forced to make adjustments after totaling
16 penalties over three straight losses by a combined 18-9 margin
on their recent road swing.
The Jets were burned for eight power play goals on the trip
before bouncing back to negate Florida’s only two man-advantage
opportunities in a 3-2 overtime home win on Tuesday.
They’ve been far more disciplined on their home ice all season,
totaling seven penalties in four games compared to 22 in five on
“It was huge after the road trip (where) we didn’t play well, we
came in this building, we feel comfortable here,” goalie Ondrej
Pavelec said. “We needed two points, especially after the road
Regardless of the venue, the Maple Leafs haven’t been much of a
threat on the power play. After converting 2 of 5 chances in the
season opener, they’ve gone just 4 for 45 (8.9 percent) in their
last nine games.
Toronto (5-5-0) has lost four of five at home, but keeps finding
ways to win on the road. The Maple Leafs opened a three-game trip
with a 3-2 victory at Washington on Tuesday for their fourth win in
five games away from home.
“We just want to continue to build on some of the good things
we’ve been doing and take that onto the ice (on Thursday),” said
coach Randy Carlyle, a former Winnipeg defenseman.
James van Riemsdyk scored two goals against the Capitals, and
five of his team-leading six goals have come on the road.
Right wing Matt Frattin has also provided a spark with five
goals and seven points in seven games. He had eight goals in 56
games last season.
Toronto has nine goals in five home games, but 16 in five road
contests. The Maple Leafs, however, may have a difficult time
continuing that trend against Pavelec, who has been solid at
Pavelec is just 1-3-1 with an .873 save percentage and 3.81 GAA
on the road, but he’s 2-1-0 with a .912 save percentage and 2.59
GAA in Winnipeg.
Pavelec has allowed three goals while winning his last two
starts against the Maple Leafs.
The Jets will try to back up Pavelec with some scoring after
Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart and Bryan Little each had goals on
Little providing the winner on the power play with 16 seconds
left in overtime. He also scored the deciding goal in a 2-1 victory
over Toronto in the prior meeting in Winnipeg last February.
Led by Tobias Enstrom’s team-high 12 points, the Jets have one
of the highest-scoring defenses in the NHL with eight goals and 31
points. Enstrom has four goals and eight points in his last seven
games against the Maple Leafs.
Despite a solid 24-save performance from Ben Scrivens against
the Capitals, Toronto is expected to start James Reimer. Reimer has
lost two straight starts, including a 4-1 defeat to Carolina on
Monday that dropped him to 3-3-0 this season.
He’s 2-1-0 with a 2.46 GAA in his last four in this series.
The Jets have won three straight over the Maple Leafs in