We are very blessed and fortunate at SB Nation to have a cast of people who are subject matter experts across the league, and the teamwork between the sites is something we shouldn’t take for granted. Arctic Ice Hockey has shown itself to be a strong resource over the years for the Jets and the rest of the league. To give us a deeper insight into the team from Winnipeg, Cara of Arctic Ice Hockey answered a few of my questions regarding the Jets.
Dan: Nashville deployed the line of Nick Bonino, Auston Watson, and Colton Sissons against the top line of Colorado with success as the series went on. Who will the Jets look to match against the line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson? And is there a defense pairing that will be assigned to that line?
Cara: This is a hard question to answer because the Jets sometimes hard-match with the Lowry line and sometimes use Mark Scheifele to go power on power. I would not be surprised if that is not what happens. As with the defensive pairings, it depends on when Toby Enstrom returns, but most likely the Josh Morrissey/Jacob Trouba pairing.
Dan: Minnesota was missing some key pieces, but they still were a dangerous team with speed in their lineup. What did the Jets do to keep them pinned in their own zone?
Cara: First of all, Winnipeg was also missing some key pieces in the shape of Enstrom, Mathieu Perreault, and Nikolaj Ehlers for the last game (I am not going to include suspended Josh Morrissey). They have incredible speed and size that they have learned to use to their advantage and tend to lean on. They were fast on the puck and were hard to knock off it.
Dan: What is the status of Tyler Myers going into this series, and if he’s back what will the defense pairings look like?
Cara: Myers played in game five. The bigger question is when will Enstrom return. Myers slots in on the bottom pair and Enstrom ideally slides in besides Dustin Byfuglien. Last I heard, the latter was practicing with the team in a non-contact jersey.
Dan: Looking past this year, the Jets do have their core players either locked up or entering their second contract. Patrik Laine, Jacob Trouba, and Connor Hellebuyck will be due raises this summer along with some other young players. In your opinion, what will the Jets’ cap situation look like next year?
Cara: MESSY. They have some older players on big contracts and some bad contracts right now. They probably will need to get out from the Dmitry Kulikov contract and the Steve Mason contract. Other worrying contracts are Bryan Little’s and Dustin Byfuglien’s based on amount. It is hard to say what they are going to do this summer and next to be completely honest.
Dan: The all-time record for penalty minutes in a playoff series is 654. There’s great potential with this series to eclipse that number. Do they break the record?
Cara: The Jets are doing a pretty decent job of not being the Jets of old and taking a lot of penalties, so I don’t think they will break the record. Let’s be honest, this all depends on the referees who have been uneven at best.
You can follow the managing editor of Arctic Ice Hockey at @HappyCaraT on Twitter.