As I write this after the Grey Cup I think to myself "I'd rather be a Bomber fan than an Ottawa Renegade fan. Those guys haven't won a game in years!"
But I digress.
The Winnipeg Jets play 13 of their next 15 games at home, and they kick off that span by taking on the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night. The Jets are coming off a loss to the Bruins that saw them keep it close til an empty netter sealed it in a 4-2 effort that was not the finest example of their abilities. The Sens are coming off a close victory over the Hurricanes they saw them take it 4-3.
The Sens are in many ways similar to the Jets, with a few players under performing, a starting goalie with a save percentage that isn't 90% and only a couple of names that you would consider for the All Star team.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: This is a winnable game. If the Jets go go into the Bear Den and battle with Boston on no rest, then they can surely do some damage to the Sens.
Keys to the Game, Player Numbers, Lineups and Cake will be served after THE JUMP
Keys to the Game:
- No silly mistakes: Stupid penalties, pinching in when you shouldn't, allowing short-handed goals, trusting Buff on defense. These are all silly mistakes that cannot be repeated if the Jets are to emerge victorious.
- Put the Special Back in Special Teams: Score goals on the power play and make sure the other team doesn't score when they have the power play. In a similar note...don't allow short-handed goals.
- Dustin Byfuglien should quit playing games with my heart. Seriously, there was the good Buff scoring one and setting up another, then BAM there was the bad Buff being nowhere to be found on defense. His playing wasn't exactly what a girl wants. And it sure as hell wasn't what I want.
- Will the real Eric Fehr please stand up, please stand up please stand up? Because I'm beginning to wonder how good Danick Paquette is. I have faith in Fehr's abilities but boy howdy he certainly didn't show those off in the game against Boston.
- Make the Hangar a place where no one wants to play. The Jets have the opportunity to make hay while the sun shines and all those bad slogans as they have a glut of home games coming up. I'm not asking for 26 points out of those 13 home games. But would 25 hurt?
Jets (GP 23 9-10-4 22 PTS)
#9 Evander Kane -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler
#16 Andrew Ladd --#80 Nik Antropov -- #13 Kyle Wellwood
#15 Tanner Glass -- #8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #17 Eric Fehr
#41 Jason Jaffray -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn
#5 Mark Stuart -- #39 Dustin Byfuglien
#29 Johnny Oduya -- #4 Zach Bogosian
#44 Arturs Kulda -- #36 Mark Flood
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
Once again there will be questions about who starts on the 4th line, and I once again have questions about the availability of Ron Hainsey. Arturs Kulda and Jason Jaffray remain options for Winnipeg.
UPDATE: Jaffray in for Stapleton, Hainsey still out so Kulda back in.
Silver Seven (GP 23, 11-10-2 24 PTS)
#14 Colin Greening -- #19 Jason Spezza -- #21 Nikita Filatov
#71 Nick Foligno -- #9 Milan Michalek -- #11 Daniel Alfredsson
#23 Kaspars Daugavins -- #15 Zack Smith -- #22 Erik Condra
#28 Zenon Konopka -- #18 Jesse Winchester -- #16 Bobby Butler
#65 Erik Karlsson -- #17 Filip Kuba
#55 Sergei Gonchar -- #4 Chris Phillips
#7 David Rundblad -- #2 Jared Cowen
#41 Craig Anderson
Could see a Brian Lee or a Stephane Da Costa slot in, but it's Sunday night and this is what the Senators put on the ice against the Canes.
Player to boo mercilessly: With Chris Neil not playing I'm a little lost here. If Zenon Konopka plays boo him, because he's about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop. I can skate and punch people in the face too, doesn't mean I should be in the NHL.
Prediction: Winnipeg 4-1 Ottawa. The Sens score a flukey goal, the Jets control the game. Winnipeg kills a 5 on 3. Buff gets caught pinching at least once. Claude Noel does not emote. The game is a sellout.