GameDay Preview: Winnipeg Jets host Ron Hainsey and the Carolina Hurricanes

Former divisional rivals. Paul Maurice's former team. Byfuglien bobbleheads. Ron Hainsey returns.

The Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes are similar teams. Both squads have struggled to make the playoffs over the last handful of season. Despite this, their GMs have seen fit to lock up their respective "core" groups for the long term. They similarities don't end there though.

Both squads are also home to: a couple young skill players, under achieving veteran goaltenders, shaky defensive units, a complete lack of depth, horrible powerplay units, and both teams may be in need of a major shake-up this off season. Any potential changes will take place down the road - before that, there is a game to play. Buff bobbleheads! Yay! Ron Hainsey day!!

Keys to the Game

Winnipeg Jets

Dustin bust in. Dustin Byfuglien is scheduled to return from injury. For better or for worse (usually better), the presence of Dustin Byfuglien makes the Jets a more exciting team to watch. Tonight will also be bobblehead night. A couple big goals from the big man would be a great way to celebrate Big Buff Bobblehead Night.

Sometimes three is a party. Over their last couple outing the Winnipeg Jets have received some quality offensive minutes from three different lines. They haven't been scoring every time out, but they have been generating chances. The roster will surely be shaken up with the return of Byfuglien, but it should be all for the better. If the Jets can continue to receive offense from all three lines - odds are they win.

Bogo oh no better than Bogo no no? Zach Bogosian has had an up and down season, but he was absent last game and the team greatly missed him. While it was apparent that the defensive play had to be better it isn't apparent what the D pairs will look like. Paul Postma jumped out of the coffee shot and into a two point night. Will Paul Maurice sit him after that?

Carolina Hurricanes

What is a "playoffs"? The Carolina Hurricanes are even further out of the playoffs than the Winnipeg Jets. This game will have a Greatest Tank Battles element to it. Still, the coach needs to keep coaching and the players need to keep playing. Jobs are on the line. Can the Canes keep up their focus? They need to if they intend to win.

Staal'd offense. Despite a bevy of high end skill players the Hurricanes have struggled to score goals this year. As a result line juggling has landed the two Staal brothers on the same line. Will this line pot a goal? If they can't, where will the offense come from?

Oh what Khudobin. Cam Ward is a shadow of his former self, but luckily for the Canes their GM went out and scooped a bargain bin stud in Anton Khudobin. Regardless of who is in net, the Canes need their netminder to stop some pucks because goals haven't come easy.

Player to Boo Mercilessly

Eric Staal - because Jordan is better.

Prediction

Jets 3

Canes 2

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