The season is still young, but the Winnipeg Jets have already stacked a handful of losses on top of one another. Their is still time to turn things around, but the bottom line is - good teams don't streak together poor play for long stretches. If the Jets aim to use this season for anything other than player development, they have to get rolling now.
The St. Louis Blues are riding a little higher, winning 5 of 6 outings thus far. They are also coming off a shootout win - in Chicago - over the defending champs. Two days prior the Blues suffered their lone defeat of the season at the hands of a scary looking San Jose team. All in all the Blues are a heavyweight and they are playing well.
The Jets are very visibly a step down from the two teams that the Blues have recently faced. Could the Blues be primed for a let down? Are the Jets ready to take a big step forward? We find out tonight.
Keys to the Game
Mark Scheifele: The Winnipeg Jets young centre is coming off what was arguably the best showing of his young career. Was his strong play related to the match up or was it a sign that Mark is figuring out how to play in the NHL? Regardless, Scheifele needs to sustain his strong play. The Jets will need a few new names to put tallies in the goal column, especially if Evander Kane is out with an injury.
Wake up or you are going to shit the bed: It is one thing to start slow, but it is a completely different thing to lose a game within the first 10 minutes. The Jets have come out sloppy versus both the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadians - in both cases the game was over before the Jets really got anything going. A quick start would be nice, but if that isn't possible at least break even on the score sheet.
Draw some PIMs: The Blues are playing well, but their penalty kill has been struggling. The Blues enter tonight's contest with the league's 24th ranked penalty kill. The Jets will want to continue this trend and come out ahead in the special teams battle tonight.
St. Louis Blues
Draw some PIMs: The Blues penaly kill has been struggling, but their powerplay has been downright lethal. It is early, but the Blues are converting on 30.4% of their powerplay opportunities, good for 2nd best in the league. The Blues are a better team than the Jets at 5 on 5 - if they can win at special teams too, they Jets may be in for a long night.
Pour pucks on net: Ondrej Pavelec has very fast feet and quick reflexes, but he struggles finding pucks in traffic and he rebound control is less than stellar. Shot volumes are the way to beat Ondrej. Pour pucks on net and hope for rebound. Pour pucks on net and hope Pavi misses one. Shoot shoot shoot. Win win win.
Keep on keeping on: The Blues are the better team. They have better forwards, better defenders, better goalies and a better coach. If they show up and play the way they can - they should win this game. Ill effects of their tilt with Chicago may come into play, but this game is really their's to lose.
Player to boo mercilessly
Jay Bouwmeester - more like Jay Booooo-meester am I right?
Jets will always win every game. They will beat Chicago too.
Jets - 3
Blues - 2