When the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Minnesota Wild Saturday night, you wouldn't be foolish to wonder if this team had just won on their own soil. Judging by the noise levels, it seemed as though all of the 15,004 faithful that usually fill the MTS Centre had made there way down to Minnesota for the game. Tonight, those fans and the Jets return to Winnipeg for another duel between these central division foes.
Puck drop is at 7 pm CT, and you can catch all the action on TSN3. Or, you can listen to all the action live on TSN 1290 radio.
Keys to the Game
Stay disciplined. To the pleasure of many, it appears a rivalry is brewing between the Jets and the Wild. The last two games between these two teams have provided no shortage of physicality. If the Jets want to set the tone physically, they must stay clean in doing so. The Jets accumulated 15 penalty minutes in their weekend affair. The Jets are a very physical hockey team, but taking penalties isn't the best way to display their physical nature.
Help Pavelec out. When the Jets have Ondrej Pavelec between the pipes, they look like a different hockey team. The team does not get the same insurance in the crease as they have been getting with rookie goaltender Michael Hutchinson. The Minnesota Wild love to shoot the puck. The Wild average 31.7 shots on goal per game, which is fourth best in the NHL. The Jets as a whole will need to help Pav, and it isn't all about the defensive core. Jets forwards will need to stay smart defensively and try to keep the puck out of there own zone as much as possible.
ED NOTE: Holy crappers! Hutch is getting the start, so help Hutch out. Help Hutch out instead.
Kane questionable, Cormier recalled. After blocking a shot late last game. Evander Kane missed practice Sunday and his status for Monday's contest is up in the air. In lieu of that, the Jets have recalled forward Patrice Cormier from the St Johns Icecaps. Will Kane play?
ED NOTE: Kane will not play. :(
Do with what you have. The Minnesota Wild will be missing some bodies during tonight's contest. The team has goaltender Niklas Backstrom, defenseman Keith Ballard and - as of yesterday - forward Mikael Granlund on injured reserve. Jonas Brodin will not be making the trip to Winnipeg either. He is out with an upper body injury. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper has recovered from food poisoning and is expected to start.
It's the Climb. The Minnesota Wild currently find themselves 7 points out of a Western Conference wild card spot. Recording a point against the Winnipeg Jets did them no favours as the Jets gained more ground on the Wild with their 2 point effort. A clean win is really the only thing that will help the Wild tonight. If more losses continue to pile up, the Wild could find their playoff race on life support.
Central Division standings after tonight: #NHLJets tied for third. pic.twitter.com/PKFW56Tfze— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) December 28, 2014
Player to Boo Mercilessly
Darcy Kuemper. Winnipeg fans know how to give opposing goaltenders a unique greeting, tonight should be no different.
The Jets are playing playoff caliber hockey, but Pavelec has been shaky as have all Wild tenders. It will be a high scoring affair, but the Jets will edge out the wild.