By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
The Winnipeg Jets will sport a new-look defence tonight against the Nashville Predators as Paul Postma and Adam Pardy both slot into the team’s rearguard.
The loss of Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart during Friday’s 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues made the victory a bittersweet one.
Trouba, who will be out for upwards of a month after sustaining a neck injury in a fall on Friday night, has been everything the Jets hoped he would be and more this season. The 19-year old Michigan product has been at the top of the ice-time charts in almost every game he has played in and the Jets have relied heavily upon him in every situation.
Stuart’s grit will be missed in front of Ondrej Pavelec. He picked up a hip injury on Friday night in the third period and after trying to play through it, left the game.
Stuart, like Trouba, has also logged big minutes for the Jets and the team will look to Adam Pardy to fill the void left by Stuart’s injury.
“I got to play physical and play solid D,” Pardy told reporters this morning at the Jets optional skate. “Moving pucks out of my own zone, taking care of D-zone coverage and just being a big-body presence out there.”
Postma will move into Trouba’s spot and feels he is ready to contribute.
“Injuries are part of the game and are going to happen,” said Postma. “I have been practicing hard and I think I am ready to go.”
Jim Slater, who has an undisclosed ailment, is day-to-day paving the way for Devin Setoguchi to make his return after being a healthy scratch on Friday. Patrice Cormier will play centre on the fourth line in place of Slater.
Claude Noel said the Jets need to build off their win against the Blues two nights ago.
“When you start to play well you build confidence, in your individual game and your team game, and then it becomes easier,” Noel told reporters after practice. “You start to feel better about yourself and then you are in a good place and your foundation is good.
“We have an opportunity to build on last game, in tonight’s game, and that is something we need to get ready do right from the on-set of the game.”
Nashville is coming off a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night.
Game time is at 7 p.m. tonight at the MTS Centre.