BOSTON — It was a bright and early start with a 3 a.m. wake-up call to make the first flight to Toronto on our way to Boston.
But a pretty full sports day here, taking in the Jets optional skate at TD Garden in the afternoon before making it over to Foxboro for the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
As you know this is a hockey blog and what you should know is that it doesn’t sound like Jets head coach Claude Noel is going to make any drastic changes to his lineup for Monday’s matinee against the Boston Bruins.
While it’s always subject to change, based on what was happening during the workout, it appears as though Noel will be sticking with the same line combinations and defence pairings against the Bruins, who are coming off a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers in their season opener.
After he was claimed off waivers last week, most people figured enforcer Anthony Peluso might get a look but Mark Scheifele played well enough on Saturday that it wouldn’t make much sense pulling him out of the lineup.
Defenceman Paul Postma had a little trouble on Saturday, with one glaring turnover, but it makes sense for Noel to stick with him and give him a chance to rebound.
Regardless of what happens Monday, I’d expect we’ll see Zach Redmond make his NHL debut on Wednesday against the Washington Capitals.
The Jets road woes last season were well-documented and was a topic of conversation with Noel, along with Bryan Little and Kyle Wellwood.
The Bruins are a fun team to watch, especially live and we expect the atmosphere to be rocking. Wellwood also enjoys facing an Original Six franchise steeped in history.
“For sure, you know their building is loud and they have dedicated fans that are lifetime fans. It’s fun to come in here and play,” said Wellwood.
The Bruins are a very physical team with some serious skill both up front and on the back end.
This is a serious test for the Jets, who will be looking for a much better showing than they had against the Ottawa Senators in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat.
“I thought our will to win was there, but trying to get everybody tugging on the same rope was tough,” said Noel. “Our sense of purpose was good in the game but we played really unorganized. I don’t think it was a lack of effort but we didn’t have a lot of cohesiveness.”
Three Jets’ D-men exercised their option today, Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom and Ron Hainsey — three men who will be counted on heavily here with the Jets in a stretch of three games in four days.