Winnipeg Jets vs Dallas Stars Game Preview: With The Playoffs Approaching Winnipeg Shoots For The Stars!



The Jets are REALLY bad in back to back games!

Luckily for Winnipeg fans: so are most teams. And we get to play one of those most teams tonight!
That's right it's our old rivals from just south of the border: the Minnesota North Stars. In what's sure to be a barn burner of a contest between bitter rivals I...uhmmm...I'm getting word...yeah they're telling me that the North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. And the Mike Modano retired. And their goalie is 5'10"

Honestly, the stories people tell.

So turns out the Jets play the Dallas Stars tonight. You might remember Dallas from the "was his foot in the crease or not" controversy from some years back. They had fallen off a bit there in recent years, but as of the past 11 games they're 10-0-1. Which is always nice for a team to peak just in time for the playoffs.

The Stars faced off against, what I can only assume to be bitter rivals, the Minnesota Wild last night across the border in Saint Paul, which is not to be confused with Minneapolis. Unless you like people throwing things at you.

Seriously.

The good thing about the Stars playing last night is that the Stars played last night and they may very well be fatigued tonight in the Hangar. Kari Lehtonen lead Dallas to a 1-0 shutout and faced 25 shots. Honestly if I'm Dallas I put Bachman in tonight just to make sure that you don't wear out your number 1 less than a month before playoffs begin.

The beloved Jets have not played since back to back games last Thursday and Friday which they failed to get a point out of in efforts that severely damaged their chances of making the post-season. The fact that division rivals Washington and Florida continue to win make the task all but impossible and I for one will openly admit it isn't going to happen. Sure it's mathematically possible that the Jets make it. I mean, unless your name is Columbus, nobody has been eliminated yet.

So if the Jets want to win they have to do a lot of winning between now and April 7, and get some help. Beating Washington twice would be awesome as well, but there are far too many road contests remaining where the jets really aren't all that good. At all.

But lucky for viewers like me, Winnipeg is not the road. It's home. And the boys in Polar Night Blue have done just fine here and I am looking for a top notch effort tonight.

Even if it has to be without prolific goal scorer Chris Thorburn.

Keys to the Games, Player Numbers and Lineups coming up après LE SAUT!

Keys to the Game:

  • As mentioned the GST line will not be buzzing about out there tonight. Nope instead it looks like Jim, Eric and Tanner will have to make a name for themselves. Wait a minute...Jim...Eric...Tanner...J-E-T!
    The JET Line! Yes. All is well in the universe
    Ed. Note: I'd love to take responsibility for this but ultimately it goes to Global Winnipeg...unless it was CTV Winnipeg...but I think it was Global.
  • Attention Eric Fehr. This is it buddy. This is your chance to show us all why you were brought here (Hint: it wasn't just for you to unveil the new jerseys, which you did an awesome job at by the way). No we're looking for good responsible forechecking, backchecking and I'm sure we'd all love to see you pop a couple pucks in the net. I know your shoulder has been kicking your ass, but I'd love to see you step up and take this chance. Because you're running out of time.
  • The penalty kill needs to be better. Which isn't asking for much, as after letting in 3 goals on 3 chances in Calgary it looked downright abysmal. And that pains me to say because that indirectly means I'm taking a shot at Mark Stuart, and that guy's just awesome in my books
  • Blake Wheeler was big time hustle last game and was key in both providing chances on offense and showing good heads up play and hustling back to break up chances at the other end. He's really become a beast in the latter half of the season. Must be all those books he read on his honeymoon...
  • Zach Bogosian is once again doubtful to play after missing practice on Tuesday. He left practice early on Monday, though the team said that was planned, but he was not on the ice at all yesterday and that usually means a no go. So Clitty gets to keep his spot in the lineup for now.

Lineups

Jets (GP 69 32-29-8 72 PTS)

Forwards

#16 Andrew Ladd -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler

#9 Evander Kane -- #8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #13 Kyle Wellwood

#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #17 Eric Fehr

#14 Tim Stapleton -- #80 Nik Antropov -- #20 Antti Miettinen

Defencemen

#39 Tobias Enstrom -- #33 Dustin Byfuglien

#6 Ron Hainsey -- #24 Grant Clitsome

#5 Mark Stuart -- #12 Randy Jones

Goaltender

#31 Ondrej Pavelec

The JET line debuts tonight, as Chris Thorburn is out long term...well long term as in he might not be back this season. Not THAT long term like certain players making their grand returns on Thursday.

Stars (GP 69 38-26-5 72 PTS)

Forwards

#21 Loui Eriksson -- #63 Mike Ribeiro -- #73 Michael Ryder

#10 Brenden Morrow -- #29 Steve Ott -- #14 Jamie Benn

#24 Eric Nystrom -- # Vernon Fiddler -- #16 Adam Burish

#81 Tomas Vincour -- #23 Tom Wandell -- #40 Ryan Garbutt

Defencemen

#3 Stephane Robidas -- #28 Mark Fistric

#33 Alex Goligoski-- #36 Philip Larsen

#6 Trevor Daley -- #27 Adam Pardy

Goaltender

#31 Richard Bachman

No idea about the status' of Radek Dvorak and Sheldon Souray. Neither played last night. Both are in the "Questionable" category for tonight's contest.

Player to boo mercilessly: Mike Ribeiro thinks he's awesome. I hated him in Montreal. I hate him in Dallas. He's like Ovechkin but not nearly as talented. The diving and mocking of fans makes Daniel Carcillo look classy.

Prediction: Winnipeg 3-1 Dallas. The Jets take advantage of a team that played last night and once again bring a hot streak to a halt at the MTS Centre.

GO JETS GO!

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