Tonight, the Winnipeg Jets head into to Buffalo on the second night of back-to-back games. After lucking out a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Jets are set to face the worst team in the NHL. The Sabres are bad - really bad - and they should be easy picking' but they are riding a three game winning streak and they will be the fresher team.
Tonight's game can be seen on Sportsnet and heard on TSN 1290.
Keys to the Game
Regress upwards. Evander Kane's shooting percentage jumped from 4 to 8 last night. This was expected to a degree and Kane and many other Jets' players have been shooting at rates well below their career averages. If Kane or anyone else can keep their upward regression rolling, it will surely help the Jets. Yay for puck luck.
Pray to the Prince. The Winnipeg Swedish Prince of Defense is hurt and the Winnipeg Jets' team defense was in shambles without him last game. Pray, pray, pray that "day to day" turns to ready to play.
Tendy trendy. Ondrej Pavelec started the season with some really strong play. He has sputtered though, going winless in his last five games and posting a sub-.900 save percentage in his last three. This trend needs to end or an oncoming "L" will be tough to defend.
Neuvirth give up. The Sabres may be bad, but Michal Neuvirth isn't giving away goals. Jonas Enroth isn't either, but Neuvirth is rolling along with better numbers, carrying an impressive .920 save percentage. Whoever is in net needs to be strong as the Jets aren't allowing a ton of goals against.
Score more. The Winnipeg Jets are 29th in NHL goal scoring, but the Sabres are last by a mile - scoring just 1.62 goals per game, on average. That is bad. It is tough to win in this league if you can't pot three. The Sabres need to score more.
To the left, to the left. As noted by fellow AIH author Allan, the Columbus Blue Jackets found great success attacking the left side of the Winnipeg Jets' defense on zone entries. With Tobias Enstrom out, the left side is a major weakness. Attack here for easy access - unless Toby is back, in which case, tremble in fear.
Player to Boo Mercilessly
Patrick Kaleta. The Sabres only have five players that anyone has ever heard of. Patrick Kaleta is one of them and it isn't because he is a voluminous producer of good things. He does bad things. Boo him.