The Jets are coming off of one of their gutsiest performances in recent memory battling back from two nothing deficit to beat the San Jose sharks five to four in overtime. As the noise from the MTSC fades into memory, the question is, can the Jets sustain the momentum? We've seen this act before and honestly even though the Jets have strung together two victories in a row, most fans still aren't sure which team is going to show up ; awesome Jets, or mail it in Jets.
Meanwhile the Detroit Red Wings have come off of two hard fought overtime losses, but haven’t played since Saturday giving them a bit of a rest to face to the Jets at home. That rest may be needed as the Wings have been showing their age lately and have fallen from the cream of the NHL to the middle of the pack. The question in the motor city has to be can theses veterans sustain a winning record and take them to the promise land over 80+ games.
Keys to the Game
- Speed baby, speed! Even the best teams in the NHL (except Chicago of course) have trouble with the Jets fast transition and attack. The Red Wings seem especially vulnerable with a cast of aging stars.
- Powerless play. Just add this to every game day preview until they fix it. The Jets high speed attack draws a lot of penalties. If this team could capitalize we’d be in the playoff discussion right now. It’s so bad I’ve heard more than one fan lament the Bombers ability to decline a penalty
- Goaltending. No surprise here, with the reign of Pavelec challenged he seems to playing a more focused game. It'll have to continue as the wings still have dangerous weapons at their disposal.
- Let’s get physical. If the Jets throw as many hits early as they did against the sharks things will go well.
- Slow it down and grind it out. Detroit needs its veterans to out wait the Jets. Stop the attack in the neutral zone, slow down the play and get these guys frustrated. When that happens pounce on the mistakes which will inevitably happen.
- Get under their skin. Guys like Ladd, Kane and others are susceptible to stupid penalties when frustrated. Agitate and keep them on the PK.
- Get big Bert in front of Pavelec. Pavelec seemed to have some difficulty with the screen against San Jose. Get Bertuzzi in front of Pavelec and dare Byfuglien to move him.
- Snipers. Detroit has them in Alfredsson and Datsyuk, use them .
At this juncture in the season the Jets need to keep things rolling. The awful month of October has put the Jets squarely behind the eight ball (as usual) but there is some light at the end of the tunnel as the Jets have upped their play considerably over the past two games and there is some evidence the competition up the standings ladder might be catchable. Make no mistake though the Jets will have to keep the wins coming to get themselves out of the hole they've dug themselves. A trip to mo-town might be just the ticket to do just that.
Player To Boo Mercilessly
Todd Bertuzzi - He's big, he's mean, he's annoying!
4-2 Winnipeg Jets