Canucks meet Jets in matchup of skidding teams
As the Winnipeg Jets look to end their struggles, the Vancouver Canucks aim to do the same while ushering in a new era of management for the club.
Trying to keep their winless stretch from reaching a season-high six games, the Jets will look to send the visiting Canucks to their fourth straight loss on Thursday night.
Winnipeg won four of its first six games under interim coach Dave Lowry but is 0-3-2 since. Playing its first home game since Dec. 19, and with limited crowd capacity Tuesday, the Jets allowed three first-period goals against Florida but sat tied 3-3 in the second period before falling 5-3.
The Jets have failed to score more than three goals in eight consecutive contests. Tuesday marked the fourth time in seven games they allowed four or more goals.
“Just inconsistent play,” said forward Paul Stastny, who has four goals and two assists in his past seven games. “It just seems like we shoot ourselves in the foot and get away from the game a little bit.
“It sounds simple, but sometimes it’s just communicating out there.”
Perhaps communication was an issue when Winnipeg dropped a pair of one-goal games to Vancouver earlier this season. Connor Hellebuyck, who has a 3.60 goals-against average while in net for each of the Jets’ past five games, gave way to backup Eric Comrie in both of those matchups with the Canucks.
Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor has five of his team-leading 23 goals and five assists in nine games this month. He has three goals and five assists during a four-game point streak vs. Vancouver, which owns the same 41 points as the Jets in the standings.
Though the Canucks have been successful against the Jets this season, they’re in an 0-1-2 rut and are 2-4-2 after starting 8-0-1 under new coach Bruce Boudreau. Vancouver, which led 2-0 after two periods on Tuesday but fell 3-2 to Edmonton at home, has just 16 goals over its last eight games.
“(Tuesday’s loss) hurts,” said Vancouver’s Tyler Motte, who has scored three of his five season goals in January. “It’s one you’ve got to finish off. We know we’ve dug ourselves a hole, but we’ve got to get points. And, (Tuesday was) a great example of a time we’ve got to finish the job.”
Off the ice, the Canucks filled their general manager job by naming Pittsburgh assistant GM Patrik Allvin to the position. Allvin worked with current Vancouver team president Jim Rutherford for several years in the Penguins’ organization.
On the ice, it’s uncertain if Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko will come out of COVID-19 protocol in time to play Thursday. Demko has a 2.62 goals-against average this season and has stopped 71 of 76 shots in winning both starts vs. Winnipeg in 2021-22.
Vancouver’s Spencer Martin has stopped 80 of 84 shots he has faced in two starts this month.
–Field Level Media