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Preview: Bruins begin Christmas road trip with a visit to Winnipeg

J-E-T-S!

Winnipeg Jets v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 8 PM

Where: Canada Life Centre - Winnipeg, MB

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Opposing perspective: Arctic Ice Hockey

Know your enemy

  • 19-9-3, 41PTS, 1st in the Central Division (prior to Thursday’s Dallas Stars game)
  • Mark Scheifele: 12G-22A-34PTS; Kyle Connor: 17G-11A-28PTS; Josh Morrissey: 5G-23A-28PTS
  • Connor Hellebuyck: 15-6-2, 2.43 GAA, .916 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Bruins begin the first night of back-to-backs on the road with a tough trip to Winnipeg to face a first-place (maybe) Jets team.
  • The Jets have been on a good run of late: they’re 7-2-1 in their last ten games and are 3-0-1 in their last four.
  • Matt Grzelcyk did not practice on Thursday and is officially day-to-day, leaving him questionable for tonight’s game.
  • Winnipeg is led by its familiar names: Scheifele, Connor, Morrissey, Ehlers, etc. But their biggest contributor this year (arguably) has been Gabriel Vilardi, acquired from the Los Angeles Kings over the summer as part of that massive Pierre-Luc Dubois deal. Vilardi, who has missed 18 games this season due to injury, is a point-per game player in 13 games. Perhaps more impressively, he has an eye-popping stat line of 5G-5A-10PTS in his last four games.
  • Connor Hellebuyck, who has played approximately 3,391 games for Winnipeg over the last several seasons, remains very good. He’s second in the league in goals saved above average, per Natural Stat Trick.
  • The Bruins and Jets are two good defensive teams, coming in and 3rd and 4th, respectively, in GA/G. If the Bruins can get the Jets to take some penalties, they should have an advantage: Winnipeg has the league’s 27th-ranked penalty kill.

See ya tonight!