Chris Mason will get his third start of the year against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, as the Jets host the former Whalers at the MTS Centre. this will be the final game of a 5 game stretch at home, during which Winnipeg has gone 3-1-0. The fact that this will be only the 6th game of the year for Mason, and that 3 of those games are starts against Carolina doesn't show the greatest faith in his abilities by Coach Noel, but when Pavelec is playing as electric as he has been of late it's hard to turn away from the hot hand. Pavelec will get the nod between the pipes tomorrow night in Detroit, as the Jets play back to back.
Carolina is coming off it's first win under Coach Kirk Muller on Wednesday night, as they beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 to improve their record to 9-17-4, good enough for 22 points.
In other news, Nik Antropov looks to return from a lower body injury. He took in full practice yesterday and was optimistic that he'd be able to play tonight, so I've slotted him into the unofficial lineup. Which left me with that age old question: Jaffray or Klingberg? As in which one goes to the press box. In my adaptation of the lines, Klingberg sitting makes sense. But it all depends on where Burmistrov ends up. The line of Ladd-Antro-Wellwood was effective before Antro went down, but burmi has been better lately and still deserves second line minutes in my mind, meaning Wellwood would slide down to the 4th line. Yea that sounds good...I'm going to do that.
Keys to the Game, Player Numbers, Cake and Lineups after THE JUMP
Keys to the Game:
- Winning is awesome. So is playing at home. Continuing to combine those things, particularly this month, is vital if the Jets are going to make it anywhere near the postseason.
- Stone Mason looks for a trifecta of wins against the Canes. Who cares if he only plays Carolina if he keeps beating them?
- the scoring gods frowned on Kane last game. I wouldn't bet against him finding the score sheet tonight. he was all sorts of disappointed to get robbed by Rask on Tuesday.
- Not a key to the game, but if Mark Stuart keeps playing heroic defense like he does...I'm going to customize my jersey with the #5. STUUUUUU
- if Burmistrov keeps on playing dynamically and plays the physical game that pisses off Elias and knocks over Chara, he can have all the second line mniutes he wants.
Jets (GP 27 12-11-4 28 PTS)
#9 Evander Kane -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler
#16 Andrew Ladd -- #8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #13 Kyle Wellwood
#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn
#41 Jason Jaffray -- #14 Tim Stapleton -- #48 Carl Klingberg
#5 Mark Stuart -- #4 Zach Bogosian
#29 Johnny Oduya -- #39 Dustin Byfuglien
#12 Randy Jones -- #36 Mark Flood
#50 Chris Mason
Ron Hainsey is close to returning. Randy Jones also didn't seem to be too worse for wear when the Jets visited the Children's Hospital, though I'm ashamed to say that looking at the photos I didn't recognize his face. But I DID recognize Flood and Derek Meech so I thought I did ok.
Update: I KNEW Jones looked ready to go. Look for him to take Kulda's spot in the lineup
The Rubin Carter's (GP 30 9-17-4 22 PTS)
#63 Jeff Skinner -- #36 Jussi Jokinen -- #15 Tuomo Ruutu
#19 Jiri Tlusty -- #12 Eric Staal -- #39 Patrick Dwyer
#14 Andreas Nodl -- #16 Brandon Sutter -- #59 Chad LaRose
#23 Alexei Ponikarovsky -- #37 Tim Brent -- #13 Anthony Stewart
#4 Jamie McBain -- #6 Tim Gleason
# Jaroslav Spacek -- #28 Justin Faulk
#27 Derek Joslin -- #5 Bryan Allen
#30 Cam Ward
Eric Staal plays a lot more than his linemates. Just saying. they should make that boy Captain or something.
Update: Spacek slots in for Tomas Kaberle after the Montreal Canadiens trade him to Carolina. Don't think he'll be wearing his number 6 tonight.
Player to boo without mercy: Eric Staal. Because he doesn't have enough on his plate, what with only producing 18 points in 30 games, having a -17 rating and being responsible for giving his own brother a concussion that has caused him to miss every game this season. Or boo Skinner because he's actually playing well.
Prediction: Winnipeg 4-0 Carolina. Chris Mason WILL shock the world and deliver a shutout
If the prediction looks similar to the last prediction I made for a Hurricanes game...it is.
So that's my take on things. If there is need to update, I'll be sure to jump on that because we're all about pleasing the readers around here. Just ask TJCAPS.
Also be sure to tune into TSN RADIO 1290 from noon to 3 this Saturday as Gabe Desjardins, aka Hawerchuk, will be on air with Illegal Curve Radio discussing all manner of hockey related things. It should be a hoot!
GO JETS GO!