Hockey’s a funny game. It doesn’t take long to go from a three game winning streak to a 7-2 beatdown at the hands of the Penguins. After two weeks of hockey, nobody knows what to expect from this team on a nightly basis. The unexpected is what makes this season so much fun because any game could go any direction.

The Jets are hoping they can get back to their winning ways tonight as they play game two of a six game homestand. It’s against a lowly Arizona team who are searching for answers after losing a key defensemen for the next several months. Speaking of that, let’s get you caught up with what you need to know heading into this game.

1) Arizona scrambling without Hjalmarsson

Injuries are never a good thing, but they are a part of the game. The Coyotes were dealt a massive blow after Niklas Hjalmarsson went down after blocking a slapshot last weekend. Hjalmarsson will be out for three months and it leaves the Arizona defense much weaker.

The Jets will need to take advantage in the meantime and try to generate as much offensive zone pressure as possible. Look for an ultra-assertive Jets squad as they look to pounce on the Coyotes early and often.

2) Laine’s a star

I know, Patrik Laine’s ultimate goal isn’t to end up as a weekly star, but it’s nice to get noticed for a really strong week of play. Laine recently earned second star of the week honours for his eight points in four games last week.

Patrik Laine Earns NHL Second Star Honors

Laine’s been really impressive all season long and he will be the one to watch for in the coming games as he leads the team in points with 11. His all around game is much improved and it makes Laine a joy to watch all over the ice. The assist totals are great and the goals are likely to come as the season progresses.

3) Which defense is showing up tonight?

The Jets defense are getting in the Halloween spirit with their best Jekyll & Hyde expression during the first two weeks of action. One game they score most of the goals and lead the team to victory and the next they allow a touchdown and get beat way too often. The success of the team will largely depend on which version of the defense appears more frequently as the season moves on.

With Ville Heinola getting scratched a few games, it might be time to bring him back into the fold to get a new look on the back end. It doesn’t seem like the team wants to make a trade for another defensemen so the current crop of players will need to figure it out for themselves. Hopefully that occurs sooner rather than later.

4) Get to the dirty areas

It’s still early in the season, but there’s a theme emerging from the Jets offense. Spoiler alert, it’s not good. The team is generating a good amount of shots from the point and the high slot, but they really struggle with getting chances from right in front of the net.

That big sea of blue means the Jets get far fewer chances from directly in front of the crease. The Jets are a unique team with their abundance of shooting talent as Scheifele, Laine, or Connor can easily score from further out, however, getting chances from closer to the net will likely increase team scoring in the long-run. We might never see the Jets better than league average from inside the crease, that’s just not their style, but getting so few chances from in tight is a recipe for disaster.

Bold Prediction

The Jets need to rebound after a big loss against Pittsburgh on Sunday evening. With a shorthanded Coyotes team coming to town, they will enact revenge and light the lamp frequently throughout the night. Jets win big 6-2.