With 40,000 Manitobans expected to flock downtown to the arena and surrounding areas, the Winnipeg Whiteout street party will be the place to be. The biggest, the wildest, the loudest, the warmest, and most definitely the whitest.
Nikolaj Ehlers knows it will be a big night for fans, and a bigger night for beer.
“It’s the second round of the playoffs,” he said following Monday’s morning skate. “If it wasn’t crazier than the first round, then there’s something wrong. I’m pretty sure the city and this team are looking forward to the game. Fans are probably sneaking in an extra beer tonight.”
Puckdrop will be approximately 8:50 central time, as the NHL will wait for the hopeful conclusion of game six featuring Pittsburgh and Washington in the first matchup of Monday’s doubleheader.
Fans are encouraged to bring a ‘tin for the bin’ as Winnipeg Harvest will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items for the city’s local food bank upon entrance to the game. The fourth game of the series saw 2,700 pounds of food and $3,500 dollars donated to the cause. The hope is to handily beat those numbers Monday. Bins will be located at each entrance to the arena and at various locations throughout the street party.
The Jets took to the ice Monday morning for their pre-game skate. The only surprise was the absence of Connor Hellebuyck and Bryan Little. Hellebuyck’s non-attendance should not be looked upon for more than a few seconds, as Head Coach Paul Maurice likes to keep his starting netminder as fresh as possible.
With Little, however, it is slightly concerning that he was not a participant at morning skate. Coach Maurice indicated that he would be an option, however, his absence may speak otherwise.
Little played the entirety of game five and did not seem to be in any pain at any point throughout the contest. Missing morning skate is certainly a cause for concern.
Matt Hendricks – who was replaced in Winnipeg’s lineup for game five by the healthy Mathieu Perreault – skated with the regulars and came on the ice with the crew expected to play Monday. Jack Roslovic and Marko Dano stayed on the ice for extra work with the other scratches.
Monday’s game can be viewed live on CBC or Sportsnet and can be listened to on TSN 1290.
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By Carter Brooks
Photo by James Carey Lauder and Winnipeg Harvest