What is best in life? Ah, right. This is. Not very politically correct these days, but Conan's certainly on to something.
- Will the Jets have Evander Kane back in the lineup tonight after he sat out Saturday's game as a healthy scratch?
- Will Dustin Byfgulien slot into the lineup after leaving last game with a much-dreaded "upper body injury"?
- Will AHL callups - such as goaltender Michael Hutchinson and defenseman Zach Redmond - be given opportunities to showcase their skills?
- Can the Jets muster up the inspiration and energy to play well again tonight against the Wild?
Tune in tonight to find out! With no further adieu, here are tonight's keys to the game. In keeping with our recent theming, today's keys come through Beatles style.
Keys to the Game
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one": Ondrej Pavelec has won two of his last three starts, posting a .907 SV% in the process. Pavelec is on a hot streak, if you buy into the narrative being played these days. Seriously, a .907 SV% over three games constitutes a hot streak; this is what we've been reduced to, folks. It might be just a pipe dream, but I'm certainly not the only one hoping that Michael Hutchinson is given his first career start (or better yet, two or three) before the season is out. Alternatively, we can always dream that Ondrej turns into the $4M goalie he's being paid to be...
Read More: Top 10 Beatles Lyrics | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/beatles-lyrics/?trackback=tsmclip
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see": A little bit of evidence-based decision making would go a long way towards making the Winnipeg Jets a better team. From the likes of Ondrej Pavelec to Dustin Byfuglien, to wingers playing their off-wing, all the way down the lineup to depth players like Chris Thorburn, player usage has been nothing short of puzzling this season. The fewer players playing out of position tonight, the better.
"Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game": Evander Kane is a shot generating machine, but hasn't been able to translate that into goals and points. He seems to struggle to put himself in scoring position when playing away from the puck, but that is simply his way. Coming off of a healthy scratch, can Kane "learn how to play the game" that coach Paul Maurice wants him to play?
"Got to be a joker he just do what he please": Ilya Bryzgalov is too easy of a target, and I just couldn't resist a universe reference. Bryzgalov has strung together four fine starts in a row though, so his performance tonight will be a key for the Wild. Can he make it five in a row, this time in the land of cold winters and insufficient parks?
"I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love": The Wild are led up front by Zach Parise, who is, of course, in the second year of a 13 year contract after turning down more money to stay in New Jersey in order to play in his hometown. Parise is on fire, by the way, having scored four goals and seven points in his last five games. As Parise goes, so go the Wild lately. Another great game out of Parise would go a long way towards cementing a victory for the Wild.
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done": Averaging an incredible 29:44 of ice time this season and over 30 minutes per night so far in April, defensive anchor Ryan Suter is redefining what can and can't be done. Suter is the defensive stalwart that the Jets so sorely need, and will likely be a difference-maker in this one.
(i.e. Player to Boo Mercilessly)
Why, Ilya Bryzgalov, of course. Partially because of his historical comments about Winnipeg, and partially because you might actually be able to get in his head.
Fool on the Hill (i.e. Prediction)
Jets 3 - F