After a sluggish start to the road trip, the Washington Capitals (5-2-1) have won their last two games in Western Canada. They will look to make it 3 in a row against the Winnipeg Jets (4-5-0), who are coming off a loss at home to the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop is at 8 PM and will be carried on CSN.
Greetings! Happy Hockey Halloween!
The Capitals will face the Jets twice this season, with both games happening within 48 hours of each other. On Tuesday night, both teams will face each other at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. On Thursday night, both teams will have their rematch at Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
Which Jets team are the Capitals going to face? In the 9 games the Jets have played, the results have been: W, L, L, W, L, L, W, W, L.
The Jets have been Jekyll and Hyde so far to begin the season, and are trying to get back to the .500 mark against the Capitals.
The Jets have one of the most exciting rookie players playing right now. Patrik Laine, the #2 pick in the last NHL Draft, currently leads their team in scoring with 6 goals and 8 points.
This is a big Jets club that the Capitals will face. Up front, Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, and Blake Wheeler have plenty of size, speed, and skill. On the blueline, Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers both tower over their competition as they both register at over 6’5” tall.
Goaltending has been a rotation for the Jets so far this season. Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson have both played near the same amount of games. Hutchinson got the start against the Sabres on Sunday night, but was relieved during the game by Hellebuyck.
On special teams, the Jets have not been very good. The Jets powerplay (12.5%) is ranked 25th in the league, while their penalty kill (78.8%) is ranked 19th.
The Capitals are coming off a 3-1 victory against the Calgary Flames. It was a night of firsts for the Capitals, as Brett Connolly tallied his first goal as a Capital, and Zach Sanford registered his first NHL point. Braden Holtby was stellar against the Flames, as he stopped 21 shots in the contest.
The hottest skater for the Capitals right now is Marcus Johansson. He tallied 2 goals against Calgary and 2 goals against Vancouver. He has 5 points in his last 2 games, and has 9 points in 8 games.
With one of Johansson’s goals scored on the powerplay against the Flames, the Capitals powerplay (17.4%) has improved to 18th in the league. The Capitals penalty kill (78.3%) is ranked 21st, and has not surrendered a powerplay goal in the last 2 games.
For the time being, the new line combinations for the Capitals has given the club an offensive spark. Barry Trotz was aiming to put a player on each line that could provide a good net front presence. With the recent changes, the Capitals have seen an improvement in play from players like Justin Williams, Tom Wilson, and Andre Burakovsky.
The Capitals give up the fewest amount of shots per game (25). The Jets (31.7) give up the 6th most amount of shots around the NHL.
The Capitals (50.8%) are the 10th best team in the faceoff circle. The Jets (44.9%) are ranked 29th in the NHL with faceoff efficiency.
The Capitals (33.1) are ranked 2nd in the NHL in shots per game. The Jets (29.8) are ranked 12th in the NHL.
In 2015-16, the Capitals and Jets split their two-game season series. The Capitals won their home matchup against the Jets 5-3 last Novemeber, and lost to the Jets 2-1 in overtime in early December.
Capitals forward Jay Beagle recorded 2 assists in front of his hometown in Calgary. Beagle had plenty of family and friends in attendance for the game.
— Washington🎃Capitals (@Capitals) October 31, 2016
Current Jets forward and former Capital Mathieu Perreault has 1 goal and 3 points in 9 games this season.
MTS Centre in Winnipeg is one of the smallest buildings in the NHL, but for the lack of size, the crowd makes up for it because it is one of the loudest buildings in the league. The Jets feed off of the energy at home.
By: George Foussekis