As our wild road trip continues, the Jets are coming off back-to-back poor performances (one ending in a win, the other a loss) and looking to kick a Montreal Canadiens team when it's down (3-5-2 in their last 10, and last in the Eastern Conference). Granted, Montreal is not quite as deserving of that spot as some other Eastern Conference teams, so it will be important for Winnipeg to buck the current sucky trend and play better hockey.
One thing playing in our favor is the fact that Montreal is on the second game of a back-to-backer, and the first game was a tough loss where the Habs couldn't get 49 of their shots past Tomas Vokoun. Conversely, the Capitals managed 40 shots, so here's hopin'...
Lineups and prediction after the jump...
Keys to the Game
- Reduce our penalties. The number of advantages we give the opposition relatives to our own advantages is not helping our situation.
- Neutralize their speed. Losing Michael Cammalleri for Rene Bourque slowed them down a bit, but they still have plenty of fast players that can burn us. Owning the middle of the rink will be vital.
Jets (GP 53 24-23-6 54 PTS)
#16 Andrew Ladd -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler
#13 Kyle Wellwood -- #80 Nik Antropov -- #17 Eric Fehr
#8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #21 Aaron Gagnon -- #20 Antti Miettinen
#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn
#39 Tobias Enstrom -- #33 Dustin Byfuglien
#6 Ron Hainsey -- #4 Zach Bogosian
#5 Mark Stuart -- #29 Johnny Oduya
#31 Ondrej Pavelec
The tendency is to view GST as the 3rd line, but last night's playing time reflected them as more of a 4th. So I flipped them with whatever the hell we'd call Burmi, Gagnon, and Meat.
Canadiens (GP 52 19-24-9 47 PTS)
#67 Max Pacioretty -- #51 David Desharnais -- #72 Erik Cole
#27 Rene Bourque -- #14 Tomas Plekanec -- #46 Andrei Kostitsyn
#19 Scott Gomez -- #81 Lars Eller -- #52 Mathieu Darche
******************* -- #71 Louis Leblanc -- #60 Aaron Palushaj
#26 Josh Gorges -- #76 P.K. Subban
#17 Chris Campoli -- #61 Raphael Diaz
#22 Tomas Kaberle -- #74 Alexei Emelin
#75 Hal Gill
#31 Carey Price
The Habs like to roll with 7 D lately, and they seem to give Campoli a bit more PT than Gill. In other words, they like being small and speedy.
Player to boo mercilessly: Does anybody ever boo David Desharnais? Let's boo David Desharnais.
Prediction: Montreal 3-2. That speed is tough to deal with, and it only makes the small mistakes look worse.