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Jets Deploy Depleted D in Battle with Bears of Boston

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Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets defensive group is in shambles. Players are dropping like flies and former Carolina Hurricane, Jay Harrison has been added to the fray. The band-aid brand of defense was enough to power the Jets to a win over the hapless Buffalo Sabres, but the Boston Bruins present a much tougher challenge.

Key Thoughts

Winnipeg Jets

Grow a pair. Defensemen don't grow on trees, but the Winnipeg Jets have been forced to search high and low for defensive help. Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart are out at the NHL level. Top call-up options Brenden Kichton, Will O'Neill and Keaton Ellerby are hurt too. After yesterday's trade, the Jets will have seven healthy bodies and only one contracted defender (Julian Melchiori) remaining on the Rock. The need all hands on deck from this defensive group. A couple players will be forced to grow into a second pair.

Stay clean. The Jets have a penchant for PIMs and that needs to end. The margin for error will be small with this defensive group. Stay clean, stay off the PK.

IceBerg. Patrice Bergeron is one of the best hockey players on the planet. The counting numbers may not all-world, but the possession stats are special. The fact that Bergy can take out the opposition's best players and still produce offense gives the Bruins a chance every night. Bryan Little has a lot of the same skills and is often given the same matchups. Bryan needs to keep things even if he can't ice the Berg.

Boston Bruins

Watch the speed. The Winnipeg Jets may have some issues when skating backwards, but they remain dangerous skating forward. In the past, the Jets speedy wingers have caused problems for Boston. They need to watch the speed rushes if they want to stay clean.

Left alone. If Grant Clitsome remains on the right side, the left side of the Jets defense will likely feature, Adam Pardy (a career fringe player), Ben Chiarot (8 NHL games) and Jay Harrison (nary a practice with the Jets) - this is the side to attack. Isolate the Jets left defenders and pressure them and you may find a free meal.

Player to Boo Mercilessly

Milan Lucic - More like Milan Boo-cic. Am I right?

Prediction

Hutch comes up clutch and powers the Jets to a 4-2 win.