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Game Preview: Jets Look To Be Sharp Against Sabres

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Buffalo Sabres
@ Winnipeg Jets

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012, 8:30 PM EST
MTS Centre

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Here we go again

The Jets return to action tonight at the Phone Booth against conference rival Buffalo, tangling with the Sabres for the third time this year, with both sides winning in overtime, the Sabres by a 6-5 margin while the jets managed to get by 2-1. This will mark the first time Buffalo visits the MTS Centre, and it'd be good for the Jets to return to their winning ways at home by beating up on a team that played last night in Chicago, a game which they lost 6-2, and have been losers of 3 straight as their current 7 game road trip has opened with a resounding thud. Winnipeg is their 4th opponent on said trip, and the Jets should look to keep the Sabres' losing streak alive. With Buffalo making a late night flight and crossing the border, it should not be the worlds most difficult task.

The jets, on the other hand, need to rebound from their most recent game, a 5-1 loss at the hands of the New Jersey Devils in the second half of a back to back away from home for the Jets. Losing those games is understandable, but losing ugly is still a tough pill to swallow. The Jets play a lot of hockey in January, with 4 games between now and next Tuesday night just highlighting a stretch 12 games in 20 days. for a team with injuries, the depth players need to step up to ensure everyone has the lungs to get through this stretch. They can rest after the game in New York on the 24th because they go a week between games after that.

All Star breaks are nice that way.

Keys to the Game, Player Numbers and Lineups coming at you after THE JUMP

Keys to the Game

  • If GST remains together it will likely be their task to shutdown the top line of Pominville, Hecht and Vanek. They've done a decent job at shutting top lines down this year, which allows our top guys to face lesser opposition, particularly on home ice
  • Stay out of the penalty box. A quick glance at the boxscore from last game will show you that the Jets were in the box 4 times, and it cost them once. Can't expect to score goals if you're stuck in your end.
  • Big Wheels returns from injury. Hopefully he's good to go at close to peak efficiency
  • Ondrej Pavelec gets the start in goal, hopefully showing us why he is the number one and not Stone Mason.
  • The defense only allowed 20 shots last game. 5 went in. Woops.
  • Faceoffs were 29-27 in favor of the Devils. nothing to complain about on away ice.
  • Honestly, I would still love to see Paul Postma make an appearance. It would make his calling up seem sensible. Because keeping your top D prospect in the press box is not.


Jets (GP 46 21-20-5 47 PTS)


#9 Evander Kane -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler

#16 Andrew Ladd -- #80 Nik Antropov -- #8 Alexander Burmistrov

#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn

#17 Eric Fehr -- #13 Kyle Wellwood -- #20 Antti Miettinen


#39 Tobias Enstrom -- #6 Ron Hainsey

#29 Johnny Oduya -- #36 Mark Flood

#5 Mark Stuart -- #12 Randy Jones


#31 Ondrej Pavelec

Adjusted to reflect the imminent return of Wheels to the lineup. I have to say Stapleton is the odd guy out. The 4th Line has looked too good of late to break up, and GST is GST. Unless Steam Punk plays 2nd line centre and Antro gets some press box time...

Sabres (GP 46 19-22-5 43 PTS)


#26 Thomas Vanek -- #55 Jochen Hecht -- #29 Jason Pominville

#23 Ville Leino -- #9 Derek Roy -- #21 Drew Stafford

#37 Matt Ellis -- #28 Paul Gaustad -- #36 Patrick Kaleta

#22 Brad Boyes -- #72 Luke Adam -- #42 Nathan Gerbe


#44 Andrej Sekera -- #57 Tyler Myers

#3 Jordan Leopold -- #33 TJ Brennan

#6 Mike Weber -- #17 Marc-Andre Gragnani


#30 Ryan Miller

The assumption is that the lineup remains unchanged from the one that featured in Chicago last night, apart from Miller going into net for Enroth. but 6-2 drubbings sometimes bring about changes to lineups, so we'll have to see.

Player to boo mercilessly: Tyler Myers. Tall bastard.

Prediction: Winnipeg 4-0 Buffalo. Yeah...i said it. pavelec plays like a man possessed, eager to show that benching him in New Jersey was wrong. The top line lights it up a few times. it'll be sweet.

And I win the 50/50

A boy can dream