Jets Making Changes, Try to Keep Up With MacKinnon, Avalanche

Colorado Hockey Now

Through two games, neither the Colorado Avalanche or Winnipeg Jets made any changes to their lineup. Both teams were pretty happy with how things went, and decided to stick with what worked for Game Two.

That will not be the case for Game Three.

Logan Stanley is out, and Nate Schmidt is in for the Winnipeg Jets. Stanley, who is absolutely enormous at 6’7″, will spend Game Three up with us media folk in the press box. I walked by Stanley this morning and he is a massive human being. Just towers over everyone around him. However, when you’re playing a team like the Avalanche, do you want someone like that in your lineup, or do you want someone who can keep up with the opposition a bit more?

There was one moment in Game Two where the Jets turned the puck over, and Nathan MacKinnon hopped off the Avalanche bench on a line change to retrieve it. Stanley had a good 30 feet on MacKinnon, but he quickly realized he was not going to get to the puck quick enough to make a play on it, so he completely backed off, giving MacKinnon time and space to do what he wants.

I’m sure that’s not the only reason why he’s coming out, but the third pairing for the Jets has been a bit of a liability in this series. This will give them a new look. You can take your chances on whether it will or won’t work out and Check out Caesars Sportsbook Ohio promo code. The Jets have to try something, because they don’t want to be stuck in a series where they’re trading chances with the Avalanche. They want to slow the game down and control the puck as much as they can.

Schmidt hasn’t quite been able to repeat some of the seasons he had with the Vegas Golden Knights, but he can still skate. All of his underlying numbers during the regular season were significantly better than Stanley’s during the regular season, but for whatever reason, he has found himself in the press box for the first two games of the series. His skating ability probably makes him a better fit in this matchup.

We’ll find out on Friday night if his presence makes any difference in this series.

“Listen, it’s the most explosive team in the league and they’re going to create their chances,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said this morning of the Avalanche. “We have to make sure we do our best to minimize them and obviously take care of the puck when we get it and create a little bit more.”

So far, Colorado has owned most of the play at even strength. The Avalanche have controlled 60% of the shot attempts, and 60% of the scoring chances through two games. Nathan MacKinnon has just three points through two games, but they haven’t really been able to slow him down.

“It’s a huge task, especially when you’re one-on-one, isolated,” Dylan Demelo said. “You have to respect his speed so much…(he’s) super hard to defend.”

We’ll find out later today if this adjustment helps the Jets slow down MacKinnon and the Avalanche at all in Game Three.

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