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Winnipeg Jets Aim to Soiler the Edmonton Oilers

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Marianne Helm/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets return to action after five LONG days off. They are riding high after ending a quick three game road trip with a 2-0-1 record. Meanwhile, Edmonton is 0-7-3 in their last ten games with their last win coming on the 9th of November. Times are desperate in Edmonton and the Jets will be favored, but there is no such thing as a lock in the NHL.

Today's game can be seen on Sportsnet or heard on TSN 1290

Keys to the Game

Winnipeg Jets

Don't forget about Drai. Leon Draisaitl is a fabulous prospect and he should have a fabulous future, but he isn't ready for the minutes that the Oil are feeding him. Tonight he will (likely) be facing a heavy dose of Mathieu Perreault, Mark Scheifele and Dustin Byfuglien. This should be advantage Jets in a big way. Still, an advantge isn't worth much unless you capitalize. The Jets really need their guys to take advantage of the Oilers' second line.

SHOOT!!! They Oilers' defensive zone is a mess and their goalies are playing some really sloppy hockey. Shots from anywhere will lead to rebounds and may even beat the Oilers tender clean. Pour pucks on net and good thing are bound to happen.

Go go go goalie. It looks like Ondrej Pavelec will get the start tonight, but regardless of who is in net the Jets need more of the quality tending they've come accustomed to early this year.

Edmonton Oilers

It's a trap! The Winnipeg Jets have done a nice job of clogging the neutral zone this year. The Oil have not done a good job busting through clogged neutral zones. They have a habit of making the wrong passes and attempting high risk plays. These often fail and blow up in their faces. The Oil need to wise up or else their tender will be facing some breakaways.

PP don't work. Like the Jets, the Oilers have a struggling powerplay. Unlike the Jets, the Oilers are allowing a number of shorthanded chances against. The Oilers and Jets each have 10 powerplay goals on the season. The Oilers have allowed five shorthanded goals to the Jets one. The Jets powerplay in known for their attacking style. If the Oil aren't crisp on their passes, their own powerplay will present danger.

Make a save. It sounds simple, but it hasn't been for Oilers tenders this year. A both goalies are posting sub .900 numbers and the positional coach has been fired. If the Oil don't get the saves they need, any and all other efforts will be fruitless.

Player to Boo Mercilessly

Nail Yakupov raised the ire of more than a few Jets fans last year. I suspect he will be booed hard tonight.

Prediction

Jets 5, Oil 4 in a tighter than expected nail-biter.