The Jets face the hot New York Islanders on Thursday night in Winnipeg. The 34-20-7 Islanders have 75 points and are three points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Isles are also one of the hottest teams of late — they are one of only seven teams with seven or more wins in their last 10 games.
The Jets play 10 of their next 15 games this month at the MTS Centre, where they have only won two games since the beginning of 2016. After morning skate, head coach Paul Maurice talked about all-star defenceman Dustin Byfuglien being named to the team U.S.A. World Cup of Hockey roster and the challenge posed by the Islanders.
Blake Wheeler, who was also named to the preliminary team U.S.A. roster, said he is excited to be part of the competition and expects Canada to be the favourite heading into the tournament.
Jacob Trouba is eligible for team North America, which is made up of North American-born players who are 23 and younger, but wasn't named to that preliminary roster. He said he didn't think the World Cup of Hockey tournament was something players in the NHL were focusing on too much just yet.