The Winnipeg Jets return to action versus the Florida Panthers after a couple days worth of fun in the sun. Will they be ready? Nobody knows, but we do know at least a couple players are on edge. Anthony Peluso and Mark Stuart worked themselves into a bit of a tizzy during a battle drill in yesterday's practice. No fists were thrown, but fans and teammates alike are hoping the intensity carries forward.
The Jets last game action was a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Monday night. The Panthers last played Tuesday night, picking up their 3rd straight loss and 5th in their last six games played. Neither team should be coming in tired and both teams will want to win, but only at this point the Panthers are only playing for pride.
Keys to the Game
Kick a dog! The Jets are favored to win this game - they need to follow through. Any team can beat any team on any given night in hockey, but the Jets can't afford to slip up at this point. Despite their slow start the Jets have pulled themselves to within 6 points of a playoff spot. Getting there will be difficult, but losses verses teams like the Panthers will really really really really really really really hurt their chances.
PP all over these dirty cats!! The Jets powerplay has been pathetic, luckily the same can be said about the Panthers penalty kill. The Jets are easily the better 5 on 5 team, so coming out on top of the special teams battle should greatly lift their odds of winning.
No early birds! The Jets have started each of their last two games with a bunch of puck watching, scrambling and a quick goal against. This needs to stop! Start the game with a good shift or 15 and don't give up any early goals.
Three's a party! The Panthers are scoring an average of 2.11 goals per game. That isn't very many goals and it isn't enough to win many games. A third goal will help!
Campbell soup! Brian Campbell is tied for the team's point getting lead with Scottie Upshall. They each have 15 points which would rank them 7th on the Jets (tied with Devin Setoguchi). Brian Campbell has been the team's best player for years. He drives the bus. Play the game through Brian Campbell and perhaps you might win maybe.
Fenwicked! The Panther's possession numbers have been pretty okay lately. That usually results in wins over time. Pitter-patter gotta keep atter. If they continue to do things the right way they will win some games.
Player to Boo Mercilessly
Tim Thomas - because I am a commie bastard and I dislike his politics.
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