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Jets at Blues preview: Tough divisional battle to close the first half

Today’s the start of the Blues’ extended All-Star break.

Winnipeg Jets v St Louis Blues Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

The Central Division - ok, most of the Central Division - is a difficult division. Yes, the Avalanche are running away with it right now, but the rest of the playoff spot are within three points of each other. The teams below the top four in the division, while closer to being seen in the rear-view mirror than anything else, are still a vicious challenge.

Except for Arizona. They have their own vicious challenges to deal with right now, like finding an arena whose max capacity isn’t 5000.

The Winnipeg Jets are in 6th place with 41 points, and are on a six game (0-4-2) losing streak, getting outscored 10-4 in their last two losses to Florida and Vancouver. They’re in the same boat that the Blues were not too long ago with injuries and Covid-19 problems, and that’s contributing to letting some losses pile up. Tonight, they’ll be short Nathan Beaulieu along with Josh Morrissey, Dylan DeMelo and Logan Stanley. Every team has had to deal with “next man up” to a degree this season to varying degrees of success. The Blues have seized on the challenge, but the Jets do not look like they’re doing much seizing of any kind.

The Blues rebounded nicely with a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. Led by another standout performance from Ville Husso, it looked like the Blues learned some valuable lessons from Monday night’s reality check. Namely: limit shots and take some of your own. Relying on Husso has been a boon, especially in January. He’s 6-0-0 on the month and his 1.81 GAA is leading the league, as is his .945 SV%.

The Blues are 1-1-0 against the Jets this season, who have always been a heavy squad for St. Louis to play against. With half of their defensive corps out tonight (more than likely), will this be a chance for the Blues to lighten that load?