Winnipeg Jets vs Florida Panthers January 31, 2013 Gameday Preview

Marianne Helm

The Jets get back into action against last year's South East Division Champions. What are the Keys to the game?

Game Preview:

The Winnipeg Jets are looking for a rebound game for only the second time this season. Early result had been positive and the Jets appeared to be building towards something, but the bottom appeared to fall out against Montréal. They Jets scored enough to keep the game even, but they had a really hard time generating any sustained offense over the first 50 minutes.

Two days later, your Winnipeg Jets will need to improve their play to pull out a victory. Florida has been awful over the last five games and despite being the worst Fenwick (close) team in the league, they have also been handed their fair share of bad luck. Let's hope they don't enjoy a return to good fortune verse your Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets defense has been in shambles over the last couple games, even Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom have struggled and it may result in a change to the lineup. Will Zach Redmond draw in? If so, who would he replace?

Redmond isn’t the only player who may draw into the line-up. The loss to Montréal likely opens up the possibility for a couple line-up changes. Could Mark Scheifele draw back in? Do Jets fans get their first look at Anthony Peluso? Who wouldn't want to see him punch Kris Versteeg in the face?

Keys to the Game:

Winnipeg Jets

  • Don't Drop a D on D: The Jets defence has been in shambles the last couple games. Even the Jets’ top pairing or Toby Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien have been turnover machines. The Jets need their stud defenders to be studs and if Paul Postma is going to continue to dress, he needs to start chipping in offensively. You can only afford to dress a risk / reward defender if there is actually some reward.
  • Score More: The Jets have been off to a hot start offensively and they need to keep it up if they want to keep winning. Even if the defensive group find a little consistency, the offence needs to take the pressure off of them, at least until Zach Bogosian returns.
  • Return of the Road Pirate: Ondrej Pavelec had a rough go in his last start and he will need to rebound. The numbers said Ondrej was due for some statistical regression, but nobody expected the *shot show that we saw verse Montreal

Ed Note:If that Montreal game didn’t tell you everything you need to know about shot quality, then you can’t be friends with me and I hate you.

Florida Panthers

  • Score Two Goals: The Panthers have scored a total of five goals over their last five games. The offence has struggled in a big way and it will need to improve if they want to stop sucking.
  • Mind Your Net Netminder: The offence hasn’t been the lone sore point for the Panthers. They haven’t been doing a great job preventing goals either. Over the last five games these dirty cats have allowed an ugly 4.6 GAA. They have a league worst GAA of 4.00 on the season.
  • Get Healthy, Stay Healthy: Jet killer Kris Versteeg has recently returned from injury and a number of others have missed time. Stephen Weiss, Sean Bergenheim and Marcel Goc are all key contributors to the Panthers and they are all hurt. A team that relies on their depth for scoring understandably can’t score when they lose their depth. Update: Apparently Goc is in and Ed Jovanovski is out tonight.

Player to boo mercilessly:

Kris Versteeg. F*** that guy! Versteeg single-handedly shot down the Jets multiple times last season.

Prediction

Winnipeg Jets 4

Florida Panthers 3 - F

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