Mason gets call vs Kings

- December 29th, 2011

Chris Mason gets the call between the pipes as the Winnipeg Jets host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night at MTS Centre.

Ondrej Pavelec has started the past five and Jets head coach Claude Noel explained the decision-making process after the morning skate.

“Mason gives us no reason to not continue to play him,” said Noel. “He’s played well in the games, his numbers are good. I don’t ever want to get him not playing for a long time. If it gets in the 10-day range, that’s not good for me. I have to help him try to stay sharp and I have to help him stay sharp.

“If Pavelec continues to play the way he plays, when would you ever take him out? You’d end up playing him 82 games. You have to manage the minutes.”

Mason is eager and ready to go in his first start since defeating the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 17.

“(The Kings) have some dangerous guys up front and on the point, they’ve got a good goalie and they’re playing well defensively,” said Mason, who has won his past three starts. “We want to end the year off right at home before we head out on the road for an extended period of time.”

For those wondering, Mason won’t be sporting his new pads, blocker or glove until the new year.

After earning a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Kings chose not to skate on Thursday morning.

Here’s how we expect both teams to start — though the Jets lines will be shuffled if centre Jim Slater (who was banged up after scoring the fourth goal in the 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday) can play. For now, we’re going under the assumption that Patrice Cormier will be in and Slater will get an extra day to rest what we think might be bruised ribs.

Bryan Little (foot) has been skating on his own but the progress is slow, while defenceman Dustin Byfuglien (knee) will be out for “closer to a week” according to Noel.

Defenceman Randy Jones is progressing and might be an option for Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jets Gameday lines

Evander Kane–Tim Stapleton-Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd-Nik Antropov-Kyle Wellwood
Tanner Glass-Alex Burmistrov-Antti Miettinen
Eric Fehr-Patrice Cormier-Chris Thorburn

Defence pairings
Johnny Oduya-Zach Bogosian
Ron Hainsey-Toby Enstrom
Mark Stuart-Mark Flood

Goalies
Chris Mason (Ondrej Pavelec)

Kings Gameday lines
Brad Richardson-Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown
Andrei Loktionov-Mike Richards-Trevor Lewis
Dustin Penner-Jarrett Stoll-Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford-Colin Fraser-Trent Hunter

Defence pairings
Rob Scuderi-Drew Doughty
Jack Johnson-Matt Greene
Willie Mitchell-Slava Voynov

Goalies
Jonathan Bernier (Jonathan Quick)

Categories: Hockey

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