After finishing up a four game road trip against the Penguins on Tuesday night, the Jets are ready to come home and enjoy home ice advantage for the first time of the year. The home opener is always an exciting event and the Jets hope to give the fans plenty to cheer about as they take on the Wild at 7 pm.
There are plenty of storylines heading into the first home game and here’s what you need to know as you take it all in.
1) The Fans
The fans in Winnipeg are second to none and they always bring a spectacular atmosphere to Bell MTS Place. The entire city is so passionate about the team and having the first game back after a long summer is always a highlight of the year.
The Jets back on the ice signals an end to summer with anticipation of the winter ahead. Winnipegers won’t have to look too far for winter this year as the forecast is calling for plenty of snow over the coming days. The Jets do a whiteout during the playoffs, but the city of Winnipeg does a whiteout whenever it feels like it.
2) Josh Morrissey’s injury
After colliding with a teammate before the Jets third game of the year, he was surprisingly held out against Pittsburgh despite participating in practice the day before. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but the Jets are hoping that all of it can be put behind as soon as possible. Even though the Jets won their last game without him in the lineup, he’s one of the most valuable pieces of the puzzle this season.
3) The rest of the defense
After playing an excellent overall game against Pittsburgh, the Jets are hoping their defense can put together another solid performance on home ice. Sami Niku appears to be fully healed from his groin injury as he played his first game of the year on Thursday night. He looked like the usual Niku with tight turns and great mobility on the back end. Overall, there have been a number of different looks for the defensemen and nobody really knows what to expect out of them on a game by game basis.
I asked #NHLJets HC Paul Maurice, who generally prefers to have the least amount of disruption when making changes, why he switched all three pairs tonight: “It’s a really good question that I don’t want to answer, because then I’d have to lie to you.”
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeAthletic) October 9, 2019
4) Laine’s really good
After getting the call up to the top line, Laine’s been sensational. He scored his first goal of the season against the Islanders before nabbing three assists against the Penguins.
Patrik Laine has four assists in four games.
bUt aLL lAinE dOeS iS sCOrE GoAlS
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) October 9, 2019
The important thing with Laine is that he’s also playing well without the puck. His defensive zone play looks better and he’s been really aggressive along the walls on the forecheck. If he can keep this up, he’s going to have a really good season as he rounds out his game.
5) Heinola’s Hot Start
The hot rookie keeps impressing every single game as he scored his first career goal on Tuesday. He’s setting all kinds of records for both the team and the league (only player born in the 2000’s with an NHL goal) and he’s not done yet.
Maybe the most impressive thing about his game is just how un-noticeable he is on the ice. He doesn’t make too many mistakes and offers a very steady presence every game. He’s exactly the type of player that the Jets need and here’s hoping that he can continue his excellent play as the season rolls along.
With the Jets playing against the lowly Wild, they should be able to stay in the win column. Look for a big game for the top line as Laine, Wheeler, and Scheifele will all register at least one point. Jets take their first home game of the year with ease as they beat the Wild 5-1.