This year's Central Division has been a hodgepodge of surprises, both good (Nashville) and not good (Dallas). Colorado has done more than their fair share of regression, and (not counting last night's 7-1 embarrassment of the Oilers), the Blackhawks haven't had the season that they've probably wanted so far.
In the middle of all of this have been the Winnipeg Jets. Riding an eight game points streak that nearly tied the Thrashers' record, the Jets have a 10-8-3 record. Evander Kane might get all of the attention, good and bad, but the line of Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd, and Bryan Little have combined for 20 goals so far this season. Not exactly STL Line levels of production, but still a trio that the Blues need to keep their eyes on. Oddly enough, the team's power play is awful, ranking second to last in the league.
Last season, the Blues won four of five games against the Jets. Despite Ondrej Pavelec's better than usual numbers this year (.919 SV%, 2.25 GAA), he's still the goalie that the Blues need to draw. Breathing down Pavs' neck for the starter role is upstart goalie Michael Hutchinson, with a .948 SV% and a 1.38 GAA. They've been alternating starts, so there is a chance that the Blues face him tonight.
Jay Bouwmeester's iron man streak is in danger of being broken after a lower body injury yesterday in Ottawa, though the team seems to be downplaying it a good bit. From Jeremy Rutherford:
The Blues are back on the ice Sunday for the second game of a back-to-back set ending in Winnipeg. It seems possible that Bouwmeester will play, keeping his "Iron Man" streak intact. He was seen walking out of the rink and several teammates suggested that he was fine.
This is your morning open thread. Head back for some Road Music and your GDT, and head over to see the nice people at Arctic Ice Hockey. They're a little confused how to write about the Jets' recent success.