...And here we go! The Winnipeg Jets (23-25-4 for 50 pts) find themselves in a very tough spot. 3 points out of a Western Division wildcard spot behind Calgary and St. Louis, the Jets are still on the outside looking in. 30 games are left in the regular season (16 at home, 14 away), and there is no room for error, as the team has played 2 to 3 games more than the competition. The Jets have zero games in hand, meaning as the Jets’ game schedule wraps up, other teams will still have games to play, making it that much harder to secure a spot the opening day of the playoffs. Moving forward, this team has the tools, skill and the leadership to succeed, and looks to make good on increasing it’s game focus, awareness and discipline to put it over the top. Let’s hope lady luck smiles brightly, as the Winnipeg Jets will need her help too. Today is the beginning of the 2017 playoff push as the 5 game post Allstar break divisional jaunt begins, and the first test is against division rival St. Louis Blues (24-20-5 for 53 pts). The Jets are hopeful they can build upon the 5-3 come from behind win against the Chicago Blackhawks several nights ago, while St. Louis look to rebound from a tough 5-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild last Thursday.
Here’s Coach Paul Maurice with the team’s update and tee-up;
Who: Winnipeg Jets (23-25-4 for 50 pts) vs St. Louis Blues (24-20-5 for 53 pts)
When: 7:00 pm CST
How: TSN3, TSN1290, FS-MW, KMOX
Ehlers - Scheifele - Laine
Copp- Little- Wheeler
Matthias - Lowry - Armia
Tanev - Petan - Thorburn
Morrissey - Byfuglien
Stuart - Trouba
St. Louis Blues:
Steen - Stastny - Perron
Schwartz - Lehtera - Tarasenko
Fabbri - Berglund - Jaskin
Upshall - Barbashev - Reaves
Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo
Shattenkirk - Parayko
Edmundson - Bortuzzo
- Can Pavelec play to the ability that matches the team’s confidence in him?
- Can the Winnipeg Jets manage to stay out of the penalty box? If not, the Jets are 27th in the league on the penalty kill at 76.9%.
- Will the second period continue to prove to be the Achilles’ heel of the team, or can the they find a way to push through?
Players to watch:
Winnipeg Jets: Wheeler, Byfuglien & Scheifele - lead by example, and will need to make fellow players on the team accountable or it will not make it to the post season.
St. Louis Blues: Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Steen, Tarasenko & Stastny - See Winnipeg Jets’ comments above.
Prediction: Jets win 3-2