Break out the rally burritos! It's time for more exciting Winnipeg Jets game action live from Winnipeg. I'm your host this morning, Canadian Texan. Let's get to it shall we?!
I feel like I haven't been to a game in an eternity. I am so happy to be going back and attempting to win the 50/50 prize in vain, get felt up by security and stand up and down for the guys in my row that can afford half a dozen 9 dollar beers. It's gonna be schweet.
Honestly, it'll be amazing as always, and I once again encourage all readers to beg, borrow or steal your way into a game. Just don't ask for my tickets...you won't get them :)
This contest features the San Jose Sharks taking on the homeside, as we play the first home game of the second half of the season. The Jets need to find a way to win on the road, while maintaining their winning ways at home. A win against a big team like the Sharks might help bolster some deflated egos that took a pounding on the road in Eastern Canada on a recent road trip that saw them lose to half of the Original Six teams.
As you will recall, Winnipeg is coming off a 5-3 loss on Tuesday against Boston that saw them take a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period only to throw it away almost instantly (8 seconds in it was tied...true story) and ultimately the wind seemed to leave the sails as a depleted bench at the end of a roadtrip didn't have what it took to get at least a point out of the affair. Ah well.
San Jose is coming off a loss to the Green Monsters, the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday when they went down by a score of 5-4 in overtime. You may remember Minnesota as that team that was at the top of the NHL standings until Winnipeg came along and burst their bubble and they've been in a bit of a slide ever since, now trailing Vancouver by a full 7 points for the lead in the Northwest Division.
But we're not talking about Minnesota, we're talking about San Jose. A team that if you look at their roster has a few big names, but they're really not producing that much more than Winnipeg's players. Their defense has just been better.
With that in mind, I think this is a winnable game on home ice and the Jets should take advantage to put a 1-3 road trip behind them and keep pace in the playoff hunt.
keys to the Game, Player Numbers and Lineups after THE JUMP
Keys to the Game:
- Currently I'm expecting the worst and hoping for the best in terms of injuries. In a perfect world we'd see Bogo, Tanner Glass and Buff on the ice. I have my doubts about all 3 playing though.
- Even though he let in 5 goals, I still thought that Pavelec looked sharp and prevented embarrassment in Boston. Hoping for more of the same.
- Let us hope that the goals come fast and furious from Fehr as the floodgates finally opened and he scored his first of the season. Lot's of F's in there.
- Evander Kane got demoted to the second line and has now also been publicly called out by his coach. his play and or effort needs to improve to get back in Noel's good graces.
- The defensive core could be a jumble of odd pairings this game if Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien miss out. Scary stuff
- The 4th line of Wellwood, Mittens and Fehr looked good all night on Tuesday...so I broke them up in the lineups cause that's just how I roll
- San Jose is good...so...yea...we'll need to play well to beat them. If we do what we have to do, we'll be ok.
Jets (GP 42 20-17-5 45 PTS)
#9 Evander Kane -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler
#16 Andrew Ladd -- #80 Nik Antropov -- #14 Tim Stapleton
#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn
#17 Eric Fehr -- #13 Kyle Wellwood -- #20 Antti Miettinen
#39 Tobias Enstrom -- #6 Ron Hainsey
#5 Mark Stuart -- #29 Johnny Oduya
#12 Randy Jones -- #36 Mark Flood
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
If this lineup has a green tinge to it it's because I pulled it out of left field.
UPDATE: No Bogo, Glass playing with a half shield.
Fishes (GP 39 23-11-5 51 PTS)
#12 Patrick Marleau -- #19 Joe Thornton -- #8 Joe Pavelski
#29 Ryane Clowe -- #39 Logan Couture -- #78 Benn Ferriero
#64 Jamie McGinn -- #26 Michal Handzus -- #17 Torrey Mitchell
#10 Brad Winchester -- #69 Andrew Desjardins -- #57 Tommy Wingels
#22 Dan Boyle -- #44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic
#60 Jason Demers -- #88 Brent Burns
#61 Justin Braun -- #28 Douglas Murray
#31 Antti Niemi
This is what they went with against Minnesota....kinda sorta.
Player to boo mercilessly: Thornton. Because his cousin scored on a penalty shot against us two days ago.
Prediction: Winnipeg 4-2 San Jose. Gotta love playing in the Phone Booth, where winning happens with regularity.
GO JETS GO!