The Carolina Hurricanes are in town to take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight at the MTS Centre. The Jets are coming off a disappointing 4-1 loss to Calgary - in a game where they were dominant in the first 25 minutes, and led 1-0. Now after four-straight losses, the Jets desperately need a win to start moving up the standings.
After opening the season with a win in Phoenix, the Winnipeg Jets are winless. They've lost two games to excellent California teams, and dropped another at home and lost to both an underrated Nashville squad and a young Calgary Flames team. The team can, and will play better, but at the same time, maybe the Jets simply "are who we thought they were". A win tonight might be telling.
On the topic of playing better, it’s time for captain Andrew Ladd to start pulling harder on the rope. Through 5 games, he has just one assist, and is a -5. The same could be said for Dustin Byfuglien, who has 1 goal in 5 games. The Winnipeg Jets will need more from their top players if they want to overcome this slump.
Was Paul Maurice’s press conference faux pas with CBC reporter Jeff Hamilton a sign of frustration? Or a calculated play to throw himself into the limelight, and take pressure off his team? My guess is the latter.
The Hurricanes are winless on the season thus far, with a record of 0-2-2. While Anton Khudobin has been decent in goal, Cam Ward has continued his uninspiring play, with a 3.87 GAA, and .846 save % in his first two games. (3.06 GAA and .898 save % in 30 GP last season). No word yet on who starts in goal for the ‘Canes, but they need some quality tending regardless of who starts.
The Hurricanes are missing many of their top forwards, including diminutive forward Nathan Gerbe, two-way centre Jordan Staal, and their captain, and franchise centre, Eric Staal. Young sniper Jeff Skinner hasn't played yet this season after suffering a concussion in the pre-season – he’s a game-time decision.
It’s nice to see an undersized, not-fleet-of-foot player like Chris Terry having success at the NHL level (3 goals in 4 GP), but when a tweener like him is your leading scorer, your team isn’t going to win a lot of games.
Player to boo Mercilessly
With Eric Staal out, no one really screams out. Not sure that ex-Jet Ron Hainsey is worthy of that kind of attention, but he might hear a few boos nonetheless.
The Jets are playing a team that missing some of their best players, and they absolutely need this game to keep their heads above water. They take this one 4-2.