This is good.
At any point in time now, the Jets can start playing again - and though it pains me to say this, the Sabres are another team the Jets should be able to beat. Though Buffalo has managed to keep a .500 record (18-18-4), and have two players at a point-per-game pace (Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek), they have one of the league's lowest Fenwicks and a PDO sitting rather high. Hell, they just lost to the Hurricanes last night. These things could conspire in a Jets win, but we first need to overcome our Road Quaker status.
Can we do that? Well, first the Jets need to learn to stop shooting themselves in the foot. The stupid penalties have to end, as does the mess in our defensive end. We actually play a pretty mean game at evens, but these problems are tending to overtake it. I want Boogie with Stu back, I want Toby with Bustin or Oduya and Hainsey with Flood and yada yada yada I just want it to be December 2011 again. Okay, admittedly to expect us to play that well again is very unrealistic, but I can't help but feel that the line shuffling and the injuries (and the return from injuries, *cough* Randy Jones *cough*) haven't helped us.
Keys to the Game and Lineups after the jump.
Keys to the Game
- Shutdown the Vanek - Pominville - Jochen Hecht (!) line. They're pretty clearly the #1 line, and the primary drivers of the offence right now. Only problem: we're not the home team, so it'll be more difficult to make those matchups. Expect a lot of changes on the fly.
- The Sabres are a chippy team, so I want the Jets to try really, really hard to not take penalties. If we play our cards right, we could end up with 2-3 powerplays.
- Pour the shots on. I don't know if it's the absence of Dustin Byfuglien or something else, but we seem reluctant or just downright challenged by the notion of shooting the puck.
- The Sabres defencemen have only one guy who shoots right, so just go to the right. It's that simple.
#5 Mark Stuart -- #12 Randy Jones
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
A little creativity here, as Noel was shuffling lines late last game. Burmi is a scratch (IC's saying a minor injury), which is a shame, because Burmi got some more top-line time last game. GST's reunited apparently - and as if these things weren't enough, Tim Stapleton's out with the flu and Bryan Little is back. Whew. Oh, and after last game, there's a potential Boogie with Toby pairing on D. I don't know if that'll carry over or not.
#26 Thomas Vanek -- #55 Jochen Hecht -- #29 Jason Pominville
This is what they had last game, but they did lose to the 'Canes, so this might change.
Player to boo mercilessly: Patrick Kaleta. The guy is, how shall I put it...dirty as hell.
Prediction: Jets 3, Sabres 1. We can do this. I think.