After defeating two of the NHL’s top teams in their last two games, the Winnipeg Jets will face another top tier team when they faceoff against there central division rival, the Nashville Predators. The Predators are currently in first place in the central division. Meanwhile the Jets are currently in fourth place in the division
Puck drop is at 7PM and you can watch all the action on TSN3 or listen to the game on TSN1290.
Take Advantage of Home Ice: After an impressive four game road trip, the Jets need to sustain the momentum they built on the road trip and take advantage of playing on there own home ice. The team went 3-0-1, with wins against two of the NHL’s top teams in the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Jets wont be home for long. After they faceoff against the Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins, they will play 8 of there next 11 games on the road. Picking up wins at home will be key.
Score More Goals: How do you win hockey games? You score more goals than the other team. The Jets have won games, but they have not scored many goals. The Jets are currently 28th in the NHL with goals per game with 1.75. The bright side is the Jets are 8th in the NHL for goals against per game with 2.08 goals allowed per game. It is certainly a plus that the Jets are being provided with good goaltending, especially given the uncertainty the surrounded the Jets goalie duo of Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec heading in to this season. It is surprising that the Jets are struggling this mightily at scoring goals. The team might not have the fire power that there central division foe’s have, but the team has players that can put the puck in the net. The line of Blake Wheeler- Mark Scheifele and Evander Kane has been playing well but they have been rather quiet on the score sheet as of late. The Jets will be facing a Nashville Predators team that features one of the NHL’s best goalies in Pekka Rinne. Too get the puck past Rinne, plenty of quality scoring chances will need to be creaeted.
Get the Power play rolling: A reason the Jets have had there struggles setting off the red light could be there lack of power play success. The team currently posses the NHL’s 28th best power play with a 7.7% conversion rate. The team has valuable power play pieces such as Dustin Byfuglien, offseason addition Matthieu Perreault and the team’s top two lines are very capable of providing offense of the man advantage. The Jets are also somewhat in luck tonight as an opportunity to get there power play rolling comes against Nashvilles 28th ranked penalty kill.
Crash The Net: Ondrej Pavelec has looked good through the first chunk of the season, but he has struggled with rebound control. The Preds should get bodies in front of the net and capitalize on rebounds.
Continue the Teams Defensive Excellence: The Nashville Predators have historically been about preventing goals rather than scoring. Some though this might change under a new head coach, but the team has allowed the fourth fewest goals per game in the NHL, averaging 1.91 goals allowed. The team also added some offensive firepower this off season with the acquisition of sniper James Neal along with the emergence of youngster Filip Forsberg. It will be interesting to see if it is offense or defense that drives the Pred's game today.
Player to Boo Mercilessly
Pekka Rinne stopps too many pucks and that ain't nice.
Jets 2, Preds 3