The Winnipeg Jets have sometimes struggled this season, but have never had the kind of problems the Anaheim Ducks are facing.
The Ducks (19-18-8) play Winnipeg after a 10-game losing streak (0-7-3), including a 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night – a game they led 3-0. After the loss, the Ducks head coach was asked about his level of job security. He cut off reporters’ questions, but only before telling the crowd not to “ask dumb questions.”
“We’re numb. We’re kind of stunned, to say the least. Everybody’s kind of (like), ‘Wow, this is happening. How? Why? Where?'” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said following Anaheim’s morning skate Sunday.
“But the reality is there’s only one way to go about getting out of it, and that’s to come to work and have a positive frame of mind, try to build on the positives, try to build on the things we know that we can do, and do them for a more consistent period of time than we have in the last while.”
It’s been trying times for Anaheim, who, despite being mired in a serious slump, are one point away from a wild-card spot.
The Jets (28-14-2) are at the top the Central Division, tied with the Nashville Predators, who have played two more games. Winnipeg is coming off a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings and have won the last three games on home ice.
“People probably expect us (to win) tonight because they’ve been struggling. We’ve done OK for ourselves,” Jets forward Mathieu Perreault said. “Obviously, that comes into hand. A little bit of a trap game, maybe. We’ll see. We’ll come out and give it our best shot.”
The Jets are still without defenceman Tyler Myers, who participated in the morning skate but still needs time to heal from a lower-body injury. Jets head coach Paul Maurice said Myers felt good after the skate and if he can get through another workout feeling the same he could return for Tuesday’s home game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Connor Hellebuyck returns to the net. The Jets No. 1 goaltender got the night off against the Wings after starting in seven straight games. Hellebuyck is 19-13-1 in 34 starts this year, with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.
After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.