The Winnipeg Jets are off to a hot-and-cold start, and will look to shakeup their lines moving forward while looking for a consistent effort across the board. After going 4-5 off the blocks and appearing unable to find a way to both stop goals on a nightly basis and score them, head coach Claude Noel is jumbling his lines a bit.
According to Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press, the Jets could ice the following top-six when they do battle with the Washington Capitals tonight:
…Claude Noel gave some lines a shuffle for Monday’s 70-minute practice at the MTS Centre. New combinations may feature Bryan Little with Andrew Ladd and Devin Setoguchi, as well as Mark Scheifele with Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler.
The strategy seems to be to mix up the scoring players with the guys that don’t seem to be going. Kane already has five goals on the season, so putting him on a line with a struggling Scheifele and an ice-cold Wheeler makes sense.
The same logic follows placing Ladd and Little with Setoguchi, who has so far failed to cash in on his new lease in life in Winnipeg.
Sometimes this sort of shakeup can work wonders. The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings utilized similar knee-jerk line experimentation earlier and the season, and the new combinations woke the players up. Of course the Jets aren’t quite where the ‘Hawks and Wings are in terms of possessing several veterans that have had success, so how this squad responds to the early shakeup will be important heading into the fourth week of the season.