Well I can safely assume we all remember the last time the Winnipeg Jets and the Philadelphia Flyers met, unless you died of a heart attack while watching. In what became the most bizarre game in Jets 2.0 history the Jets would squander 4 goal leads on multiple occasions and actually find a way to come from behind and win what was a nail biting 9-8 game.
I'm really hoping that doesn't happen again this afternoon. Because I'm fresh out of fingernails.
the game featured rather shaky goaltending from both teams, as Ondrej Pavelec was pulled and replaced by Chris Mason, only to be reinserted when Mason pulled his groin. Since then Pavelec has played all but 20 minutes and looked rather solid in the process.
And then there's Ilya Bryzgalov. Instead of "shutting the door" he played very badly and suffered the loss in the effort. I'm sure all Winnipeg fans remember comments he made about how crappy the city is and how we don't have enough parks or people who speak Russian. He managed to become the first member of the NO FLY LIST when he was in Phoenix back in the spring of 2011.
We haven't forgotten Ilya. Apology not accepted.
The Jets are coming off 2 home wins against division rivals in the Lightning and the CAPITALS. Coach Noel's boys have played significantly better over the past couple games, and here's hoping this isn't just by fluke. The juggled lines have really been clicking offensively, while the defense has stepped up to all but silence some of the biggest names in the game. Not too shabby.
Keys to the Game, Player Numbers and Lineups after THE JUMP
Keys to the Game:
- Please sir, I want some more. If the Jets continue to produce the quality of play they have over the past couple of games, then it should once again be a manageable task to win on home ice. Not allowing 8 goals in the process would be nice too.
- Avoid taking penalties: Switching this up a bit, as the PK unit has done admirably the past few games, but the Jets still find themselves in the penalty box far too many times. Sooner or later that costs the team valuable points.
- Ondrej Pavelec: More of the same would be wonderful, as his play of late reflects the potential many think he has.
- The Return of
The KingEric Fehr: Fehr is a game time decision for Coach Noel, but it is possible that he plays his first game of the season this afternoon. If so look for only a limited amount of ice time, as Coach Noel intends to ease him back into things slowly.
- Young Guns: Evander Kane and Alexander Burmistrov must continue to play dominant hockey and be the scoring threats that they are alongside new linemate Bryan Little.
Jets (GP 19 7-9-3 17 PTS)
#9 Evander Kane -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler
#16 Andrew Ladd --#80 Nik Antropov -- #13 Kyle Wellwood
#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn
#41 Jason Jaffray -- #8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #17 Eric Fehr
#29 Johnny Oduya -- #39 Dustin Byfuglien
#5 Mark Stuart -- #4 Zach Bogosian
#44 Arturs Kulda -- #36 Mark Flood
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
As mentioned earlier in the post, Eric Fehr could make his debut, which could inevitably shuffle the deck quite a bit. Jason Jaffray would likely be the odd man out in such a case.
UPDATE: Steam punk out, Fehr in. Burmi moves to Centre the 4th line.
Flyers (GP 18 11-4-3 25 PTS)
#19 Scott Hartnell -- #28 Claude Giroux -- #21 James van Riemsdyk
#24 Matt Read -- #48 Danny Briere -- #17 Wayne Simmonds
#29 Harry Zolnierczyk -- #27 Maxime Talbot -- #93 Jakub Voracek
#45 Jody Shelley -- #14 Sean Couturier -- #36 Zac Rinaldo
#20 Chris Pronger -- #25 Matt Carle
#5 Braydon Coburn -- #44 Kimmo Timonen
#6 Andreas Lilja -- #41 Andrej Meszaros
#35 Sergei Bobrovsky
No Jaromir Jagr in this contest, as he managed only a few shifts on Thursday before injuring his groin. I'm predicting van Riemsdyk slots in his place on the top line, with Nodl filling the void made in his absence. I could be wrong there, but it's an educated guess. I don't see them compelled to let Jody Shelley out of his cage.
UPDATE: I was wrong on Shelley and Bryzgalov. So we'll just have to chase Sargeant Bobrovsky to get at him.
Player to boo without mercy: Ilya Bryzgalov. I don't care if he apologized.
Prediction: Winnipeg 3-1 Philadelphia. 3 in a row would be a beautiful thing and would send a big message about the team. A good message
One last thing before I finally go to bed (it's 5:30 a.m.) but everybody needs to listen to the one and only TJCAPS as he will be on the Nation Radio program on THE TEAM 1260 out of Edmonton with Allan Mitchell. The interview goes down around noon our time, and will also be available for podcast later.
GO JETS GO!