COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Chris Mason #50 of the Winnepeg Jets listens to a video honoring deceased NHL Players from the past season before the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 20, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
After the second most disappointing outing of the season (the home opener didn't exactly go according to the script) the Jets are off to Columbus, a team that has been dismal to start the 2011-2012 campaign as they have flown out to a 2-12-1 record out of the gate that has featured less than stellar goaltending from 2008-2009 Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason. The team has also seen injuries to
star big money players Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski, who have not played a game together this season. That being said I refuse to underestimate a team with Rick Nash on it, so I still want the Jets to try playing with effort, something they lacked for a large portion of Thursday night's game. The Jets need to capitalize on a vulnerable team that has it's share of off-ice distractions with the ongoing buzz that Coach Scott Arniel and General Manager Scott Howson are on the chopping block. I think it's WAY too soon for them to be pulling the plug on those two but currently I hate all things Columbus for the next 24 hours or so. Boo Columbus. Go Jets Go!
And no that is not an invitation for trolling.
Speaking of Mason, our very own Chris Mason will either be riding the pine or manning the pipes tonight for the Winnipeg Jets as Peter Mannino has been sent down to St. John's where he will ride pine behind Edward Pasquale tomorrow night against the Connecticut Whale (love that name). Mannino played all of 20 minutes for the Jets in the game on Thursday, turning aside 4 out of 4 shots but is credited with an empty net goal against, which is the stat the Vezina guys REALLY keep an eye on. I hope 'My Little Boy' has success down at the farm...when Pasquale isn't playing.
Keys to the game and lineups after the jump
Keys to the Game:
- More jump. More chutzpah. More oomph. More drive, grit, determination, will! I think you see what I'm getting at. The Jets have to play with the fire they showed in the first 5 minutes and the last 20 all game. Because it is in fact a 60 minute game.
- Shoot the puck. Seems obvious but for 23 plus minutes it wasn't on Thursday. Missing the net doesn't help either. Unless it's a crafty slap pass off the boards, more shots from the point need to hit the target. The odds of them going in or juicy rebounds occurring go up big time that way.
- Powerplay: Yes I know Steam Punk scored but I still don't think that validates him taking PP time away from the Kaners and Burmi's on the team.
- Penalty kill units: I don't want to see them this game. At all. because I've seen far too much of their ineffective ways in the past week that I might go completely bonkers if i see another powerplay goal scored against the Jets.
- Goaltending: Whoever is in net tonight needs to bring their A game. I know Pavelec was probably sucking wind a but on Thursday and wasn't his sharpest but we need to see more of the Road Warrior Pavelec and less of the Big Juicy Rebound Pavelec. That or Chris Mason plays.
- Refs: If I see a call as bad as the one against Antropov last game I will catch a red eye to Columbus and...kindly express my disagreement to the on ice officials and return home peacefully.
Player to NOT boo without mercy if Chris Mason is in net: Steve Mason. Because chanting MAAAASSSSOOONNNN would be confusing for everyone.
Prediction: Winnipeg 8-1 Columbus. I like it when we score goals and other teams don't. It makes the game fun. Less "entertaining", but fun.