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21 Miles Left: Jets Host The Panthers

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The Jets return from a dud of a trade deadline as they limp towards draft lottery.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline has come and gone with the Jets standing pat after trading away Andrew Ladd. We are now entering the final quarter of the regular season with the Jets sitting at 28th in the league. Firmly in place to receive the highest pick in the draft since they moved to Winnipeg. After an incredible run during the first month of the season, the end of it all will be a stark contrast to beginning, which was filled with hope and positivity. Now; darkness, praying for the sweet release of a top draft pick to bring that light back again heading into next season.

Keys To The Game

Winnipeg Jets

The last time these two met in Sunrise, Florida, the Jets let their abysmal penalty kill get the better of them as the Panthers feasted on them during almost every power play that they were given. If the Jets want a different story this time around they need to be much more disciplined. I doubt that will happen since this has been a common theme throughout the entire season. So, a more realistic approach would be to tighten up their penalty kill to keep the Panthers from scoring.

The Pardy ended yesterday as Adam Pardy was put on waivers and claimed by the Edmonton Oilers. I was unable to hear his interview on 1290, but I was told that he sounded very salty towards the Jets and how they handled him this year. I can't say I blame him. Luckily, this means Paul Postma will finally be able to get in some serious ice time (Until Mark Stuart comes back. Then it's back to the press box). Postma hasn't had a lot of luck since suiting up for the Jets. His rookie year was cut painfully short by blood clots, and then last yea. r found himself in and out of the lineup before being sidelined once again with an injury.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers are certainly going for it by trading for Jiri Hudler, Jakub Kindl and Teddy Purcell. That extra depth should suit them well going into the playoffs. If they want to have another successful game against the Jets they'll want to try and score early to take the team and the crowd out of it. I'll actually be at the game. I'm interested to see how the crowd will be like.

With Roberto Luongo most likely manning the pipes tonight the Jets will be in tought trying to get some goals. Despite his age, Luongo is still as sharp as ever and if the Panthers can make a deep run I expect him to be a major part of it.

The Panthers did trade away Brandon Pirri to the Anaheim Ducks for a sixth(!) round pick. Considering how bad the Jets seemingly wanted him I don't know why they didn't bite.

Prediction

4-1 Panthers.