The Winnipeg Jets once again tangle with their foes the Washington Capitals in a Southeast Division meeting between the two clubs that saw the Jets really take it to the Caps 4-1 last week in Winnipeg. That was awesome and everything, but it's in the past and the jets will once again have to bring their A game, especially if they want to win away from home.
The Capitals are coming off a 4-3 win against the Desert Dogs on Monday night that saw them pot 4 goals in a row after Phoenix opened up a 2-0 lead. This game also saw everybody's favorite player Alexander Semin sitting in the pressbox as a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie year. I remain skeptical that this will be the case tonight in Washington.
The Jets begin a 3 game roadtrip that sees them take on the Caps, Hurricanes and Bruins in a span of 4 days. this comes on the heels of a 3 game homestand where the boys in Polar Night Blue won all 3 games, much to the delight of the Winnipeg faithful. It was a good week in Swaggerville.
Keys to the game, Player Numbers and Lineups after THE JUMP.
Keys to the Game:
- Build off success: The Jets simply need to keep the ball rolling and stick to what has given them their win streak. Which includes...
- Special teams: Continued production on the Power play and a strong penalty kill will go a long way, especially if they keep taking penalties. The powerplay has looked strong of late, and going into last game against the Flyers the penalty kill had been completely effective for 3 games. The return of a veteran like Hainsey would certainly help solidify things.
- STOP TAKING PENALTIES
- Ladd's Little Wheeler: Yes I know this line has been broken up, but the team needs these players to produce on a consistent basis in order to succeed down the stretch.
- Eric Fehr: I want him to score. Is that key? No. But it'd be nice for him to find success against his former club. Fourth line minutes don't make this an easy task though.
Jets (GP 20 8-9-3 19 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
#6 Ron Hainsey -- #36 Mark Flood
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
There are a couple of possible changes to this line-up, as Chris Mason should expect to see at least one start in the next few days as the Jets play 3 games in 4 days. Also, Ron Hainsey looks to feature into the lineup very soon...like possibly tonight soon, so I would have to say Kulda is the odd man out when he returns.
UPDATE: Hainsey will officially start in place of Arturs Kulda.
CAPS (GP 19, 11-7-1 23 PTS)
#8 Alex Ovechkin -- #19 Nicklas Backstrom -- #20 Troy Brouwer
#25 Jason Chimera --#21 Brooks Laich -- #28 Alexander Semin
#50 Cody Eakin -- #90 Marcus Johansson -- #22 Mike Knuble
#26 Matt Hendricks -- #85 Mathieu Perreault -- #15 Jeff Halpern
#44 Roman Hamrlik -- #6 Dennis Wideman
#55 Jeff Schultz -- #74 John Carlson
#81 Dmitri Orlov -- #27 Karl Alzner
#29 Tomas Vokoun
I'm not touching the forward lines from the last time these two teams met, because I really don't see Coach Boudreau sitting Semin again. It's kind of illogical to assume he would, so the forward lines go unchanged. On defense, Dmitry (with a Y)Orlov has slotted in, and Jeff Schultz could see action again in Erskine is unable to go due to a shoulder injury.
UPDATE: Erskine is not in fact ready to go, so Schultz will make an appearance on D. Semin slots back in, as well as Mathieu Perrault because Joel Ward doesn't believe in waking up for team meetings.
Player to boo mercilessly: Alexander Ovechkin. Because everyone else hates him right now, so you should too.
Prediction: Winnipeg 10,000-4 Washington. I'm tired and don't feel like putting thought into this section so that's the scoreline I'm going with.