Happy Martin Luther King Day! A holiday in the United States means that the Winnipeg Jets play at noon today, and Jets fans will get their first opportunity to hear the soothing voice of Dennis Beyak on TSN Jets.
The honeymoon is over. It took less than a game for the home crowd at the MTS Centre to boo the Winnipeg Jets for a dismal effort on Saturday afternoon. They won't have to put up with that on Monday afternoon, but the confines of the TD Bank Gardens are not exactly friendly either.
The Jets played twice in Boston last year, and lost 4-2 and 5-3 on their two trips. Based on early performances by both teams, I am thinking the scoreline will not be that close this time around, as Boston opened strong with a 3-1 win over the Rangers, while Winnipeg sputtered to a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Senators.
The Jets will be looking for a better performance from their scoring lines, as aside from an assist to Andrew Ladd, the likes of Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Evander Kane, Olli Jokinen and the immortal Kyle Wellwood failed to find the scoresheet against Ottawa.
The Bruins will likely be looking to get a few of their own players rolling, as Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand will be an integral part of the Bruins repeating as Northeast Division champions.
Keys to the Game:
- Road Woe-rriors. 14-22-5 is not a road record that gets you into the post-season, and the Jets should be all too aware of that, having posted that record last year. If the Jets expect to reach the playoffs, they will have to figure out how to win on the road or it will be a short season.
- $$$$$$. Basically, the high priced players should be the best players on the ice, and the magnifying glass will continue to be firmly on Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec as fans will continue to wonder if they are worth their big contracts, or if the Jets will have to think about buying them out.
- Everyday I'm Scheifelen. Mark Scheifele has 4 more games to make a name for himself. Being buried on the 4th line will not be the best way for this to happen, and it will be interesting to see if Coach Claude Noel is willing to shuffel his lines in order to get a better look at the youngster.
- Tuukka chance, will it pay off? The Bruins have firmly hitched their wagon to Tuukka Rask, as Tim Thomas takes some "me time". Rask has proven to be a solid back-up, with a .929 save percentage coupled with a 2.05 GAA last year. However, he went 1-2 against the Jets with 9 goals allowed last year, so Winnipeg might have his number.
- Set your alarms. An early start on a Monday will be unusual for most. Tyler Seguin made headlines for the wrong reasons last year when he was healthy scratched by the Bruins for missing a team meeting because he slept in while visiting Winnipeg.
- Hey look, it's Braden Holtby's parents! The Bruins will no doubt be looking to restore their dominance in the Eastern Conference, after being knocked out by the Captials in the first round last year.
Owner to boo mercilessly:
Jeremy Jacobs. For being firmly in the pocket of Gary Bettman, and trying to bully True North Sports and Entertainment.
Winnipeg Jets 4
Boston Bruins 6 - F