Winnipeg Whiteout http://winnipegwhiteout.com We talk Winnipeg Jets, NHL, St. John's IceCaps and more every day Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:45:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 WinnipegWhiteout.com presents the Jets Hockey Podcast. Each week Marshall Stevenson & Jeff Stevenson take a look at what's going on in the world of the NHL with a focus on the Winnipeg Jets. This unique podcast is quick, funny and to the point. We know our time is valuable so we're here to make it productive. Go Jets Go! winnipegwhiteout.com no winnipegwhiteout.com podcast@jetshockeypodcast.com podcast@jetshockeypodcast.com (winnipegwhiteout.com) Copyright © JetsHockeyPodcast.com - a William Marshall Holdings Inc. venture The official, unofficial podcast home for the Winnipeg Jets NHL, Winnipeg, Jets, Winnipeg, National, Hockey, League, hockey Winnipeg Whiteout http://jetshockeypodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/main-podcast-art_144.jpg http://winnipegwhiteout.com Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 player grades http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/2013-14-player-grades/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2013-14-player-grades http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/2013-14-player-grades/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:53:04 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6430 With the Winnipeg Jets season over, and a little more time to sit and evaluate each player beyond just the Jets studs and duds, I had a look at all the players and gave them each a grade. Let's start with the front line.

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With the Winnipeg Jets season over, and a little more time to sit and evaluate each player beyond just the Jets studs and duds, I had a look at all the players and gave them each a grade. Unlike the CBC’s report card I took a little harder stance from a fans perspective. Let’s start with the front line.

Forwards

Michael Frolik:

Grade: B-
Frolik played a strong two way game throughout the course of the season. He was effective in every role he played in. He was one of the Jets’ strongest penalty kill players. Frolik showed the ability to be able to play in any type of situation.

Matt Halischuk

Grade: C-
Halischuk started out the year on a line with Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik. The trio thrived, providing nice secondary scoring and good energy. Halischuk suffered a forearm injury that held him out for a substantial amount of time. When he came back from injury, he lost his groove and ended the season poorly.

Olli Jokinen

Grade: C
After a disastrous 2012-2013 campaign, Jokinen bounced back and scored 43 points in 82 games. He was a contributor to the team this year as opposed to last year where he proved to be irrelevant at times. He provided a veteran presence to a young team. Jokinen did not live up to his 4.5 cap hit on his salary but for the right price, Jokinen returning would be a good idea.

Evander Kane

Grade: C
It was an uneventful season for Evander Kane. The former 30-goal scorer did not provide the scoring punch needed from his team. The speedy winger had a hard time finding the back of the net and was hard for him to be visible some nights. It was not the best season for the player that will be highest paid player on the Jets next year

Andrew Ladd

Grade: B
Captain Ladd finished the year with a solid 54 points in 78 games. He continued to lead by example with his stellar work ethic. Ladd elevates his game in do or die situations and is a great player in the shootout. This year he didn’t score points consistently throughout the year like he usually does. Although he had his fair share of slumps he had an overall good season.

Bryan Little

Grade: A-
Heading into the season fresh off his newly signed long term contract, people still had doubts with Bryan Little. This year he lived up to his contract. Little put up 64 points in 82 games, making him the Jets’ most consistent player this year. He never took a shift off and was reliable on both ends of the ice.

Eric O’Dell

Grade: C-
Through 30 games this season, Eric O’Dell impressed me. He was called up and he worked his way up the lineup and found himself occasionally playing alongside Evander Kane. The future looks bright for O’Dell and if he continues to improve his game in the offseason, Jets fans could see more of O’Dell next year.

Anthony Peluso

Grade: D
In my books, Anthony Peluso is one of the leagues’ best fighters. I think he is a good fourth line right wing moving forward and a better player than Chris Thorburn in this spot.  Peluso showed he could provide energy with his big hits and gritty play. Then again, he also showed along with his fourth line linemates that he cannot be trusted defensively and because of that he did not see much action.

Mark Scheifele

Grade: B+
Despite a slow start, Mark Scheifele had an impressive rookie campaign. Scheifele showed off his playmaking ability and great vision. It was hard for him to win puck battles and he often found himself getting thrown around. Nevertheless the progress he showed on ice was impressive. He was relied upon in both ends of the ice and showed that he has the potential to be a number one centre in the years to come. Unfortunately his season was cut short with an MCL injury. At the pace he was going he could have been at the top of the list for rookie scoring at seasons end. Scheifele will need to bulk up in the offseason because it is evident that his body hasn’t adjusted to the physical part of the NHL game.

Devin Setoguchi

Grade: F
It seems like Devin Setoguchi’s time in Winnipeg has come to a close, which is a good thing. Setoguchi was traded to the Jets for a second round pick. A lucrative price for a player who was a healthy scratch numerous times. He did not provide the scoring punch that was needed from him.

Jim Slater

Grade: D+
Slater could not stay healthy throughout the year and was limited to only 27 games this year. Slater is a very effective PK player and very good on faceoffs. He is a good bottom 6 player when healthy but unfortunately he has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career

Eric Tangradi

Grade: D-
Tangradi was unable to provide anything positive from the fourth line. His lack of speed and poor defensive play really held him back and because of this he found himself with stints in the press box. Tangradi has not turned out to be the energy player the Jets traded for.

Chris Thorburn

Grade: D
Thorburn had the same old season and continued his role as the team’s enforcer. Except this year with the injury to Evander Kane, Thorburn got to play on the second line with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. He couldn’t exactly keep up but his style of play isn’t really suited for those two types of players.

Blake Wheeler

Grade: A-
Wheeler had a great year for the Jets, leading the team in points with 69 points. Wheeler emerged as the team’s best player and when he was engaged in the game he was one of the elite power forwards in the league. He was also named to Team USA for the Olympics. Overall, Wheeler enjoyed a year of success and truly led by example.

James Wright

Grade: F-
Wright was arguably the team’s worst player. He didn’t score a goal in 59 games and could not score on some easy opportunities. Wright should be prepared for a stint in the minors if he doesn’t substantially step up his game next year.

Dustin Byfuglien

F Grade: B
D Grade: D
I gave Byfuglien two separate grades because he played two different types of game in the year. Byfuglien has the talent of racking up large amounts of points from the point but his defensive play is shaky at best. Once he was converted to forward he became a powerful force. Though he stated he would prefer to start out next season as a defence, Coach Paul Maurice stated he would start out the year at forward, which I think is the right move.

Defenceman

Zach Bogosian

Grade: D
After signing his new seven-year contract with the Jets, Bogosian did not have the season the Jets were hoping for. Due to injuries Bogosian was held to only 55 games. When he was healthy, speculation began that Bogosian was still playing hurt. Whatever the case, Bogosian seemed distracted and was not at the top of his game. He is going to need to have a good and productive offseason. It’s time for the former first round pick to show that he deserves his lucrative contract.

Grant Clitsome

Grade: D+
This season did not go according to plan for Clitsome. This was another case of a defenceman being injured with him being restricted to 32 games. Even when he was healthy Clitsome had his struggles. Overall the 2013-2014 season is one to forget for Grant Clitsome.

Keaton Ellerby

Grade: C-
I thought Ellerby had a good season. Sure he makes some mistakes but I thought overall it was a good season for the waiver wire pickup. He was a pretty good defensive defenceman for the club.

Toby Enstrom

Grade: C+
I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Toby Enstrom, especially because he has a 5.7 cap hit on his salary. I think he is overpaid and one of the worst players with the puck on the team. It baffles me he is on the powerplay. Still, Enstrom is a good player in the defensive zone and had a decent year. I think he needs to show more that he deserves that big money.

Adam Pardy

Grade: D+
Pardy finished the year strong and even showed he has some more tools in his toolbox. His big body and defensive style of play is serviceable when he is at the top of his game. Otherwise he finds himself a seat in the press box.

Paul Postma

Grade: C-
I was very impressed by Postma’s play this year. Postma has proved to me he can be a full time player with the Jets and he does not need much more seasoning. His defensive mechanics could be tweaked but an offseason of hard work could find Postma starting the year up with the big club.

Zach Redmond

Grade: C
Redmond played well when he was with the Jets. It hasn’t been an easy road for Redmond. After a gruesome cut to the leg, Redmond has had a quick road to recovery. Redmond has had to adjust to the speed of the game. In the offseason he will have time to improve his conditioning and the speed of the game might not be a problem to him. I was impressed by his play on both ends of the ice. I wouldn’t be surprised is Redmond started out the year with the team. He carried the puck up the ice in to the offensive zone very well in the last couple of games.

Mark Stuart

Grade: B-
I am giving Stuart a B- because I think he exceeded expectations. He is one of the hardest working players on the team and his effort was rewarded with a new four-year contract. Stuart showed that he can log big minutes on the back end and was a good mentor to young stud Jacob Trouba.

Jacob Trouba

Grade: A-
Jacob Trouba had an impressive rookie campaign. He logged big minutes and contributed on both ends of the ice. Trouba lead all rookies with minutes per game. Trouba is only 20 years old but his play at times made him seem like a 10 year NHL veteran. Don’t be surprised if you see Trouba on the Calder Trophy ballot.

Goaltending

Ondrej Pavelec

Grade: F
A team’s success usually depends on the success of their goaltender. Can you name a team that won a Stanley Cup without a solid goaltender? I doubt it. Pavelec’s numbers were shaky, at best. He finished with a 22-26-7 record. His GAA (3.01) was awful and finished 69th in the NHL. His posted a poor SV% of .901. That is 70th in the NHL. The numbers are scary especially because he has a 3.9 mil cap hit on his contract. The scariest thing is Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff’s reassurance of Pavelec’s role as starting goalie. It’s obvious that a change has to be made and I’m not too sure Al Montoya is the answer to the problem

Al Montoya

Grade: C
Al Montoya is a lifelong journeyman backup in the NHL. This year, he was a solid backup who actually had a better season than the starting goalie. Montoya finished with a 13-8-3 record. Montoya’s 2.30 GAA finished 23rd in the NHL. His 9.20 SV% finished 30th in the league. Not bad numbers for a backup goaltender. I’m not certain Montoya will be back next year. A team could offer him a ridiculous offer that the Jets should have no intentions of matching. Also, the Jets might want to move in a younger direction with their  goaltending. That could mean acquiring a younger backup to split time with Pavelec.

Let’s hope that the 2014-15 season turns out a little better for the Winnipeg Jets. How would you have graded the players this past season?

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Calder Cup Playoffs Preview: St. John’s IceCaps (4) vs. Albany Devils (5) http://winnipegwhiteout.com/st-johns/2014-calder-cup-playoffs-preview/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2014-calder-cup-playoffs-preview http://winnipegwhiteout.com/st-johns/2014-calder-cup-playoffs-preview/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 01:39:32 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6432 St. John's IceCaps (46-23-2-5) vs. Albany Devils (40-23-5-8) will face off against each other for the first time in over a year as they meet in the first round of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. Side-by-side, here's how things are shaping up for their first round matchup.

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St. John’s IceCaps (46-23-2-5) vs. Albany Devils (40-23-5-8)

The St. John’s IceCaps and Albany Devils will face off against each other for the first time in over a year as they meet in the first round of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. Side-by-side, here’s how things are shaping up for their first round matchup:

St. John’s:

Home: 23-10-2-3      Away: 23-13-0-2

The IceCaps are coming off their best season in franchise history, albeit a three-year history, with 99 points – a great season for any club. The IceCaps finished the regular season tied for fifth in the league with Grand Rapids, and were just behind Springfield (100), Chicago (100), Manchester (105), and Texas (106).

The IceCaps saw several new players donning their logo this season, most notably high scoring forwards Jerome Samson and Andrew Gordon, goaltender Michael Hutchinson, and rookie defenceman Brenden Kichton. The IceCaps are a high scoring team and finished third in the league with 258 goals-for. Entering the playoffs, the IceCaps are 4-3-1-2 in their last ten games – the worst record of the sixteen AHL teams entering the playoffs this season – but are currently on a three game win streak.

Albany:

Home: 24-9-3-2      Away: 16-14-2-6

Lead by Joe Whitney again this season, the Devils made a late push to get into the playoffs, recording a 6-2-1-1 record in their last ten games of the season. This is the first time the Devils franchise will make an appearance in the playoffs since 2009-2010, then known as the Lowell Devils, and just the third time since 2002-2003. Albany has just a +27 goal differential in the regular season and play a tight defensive game. They’re heading into the post-season on a five-game win streak, including a 5-2 victory over 2nd place Springfield in their season finale.

Head-to-head:

Special Teams: (Fairly) Even

Team Season PK % Season PP % Home PK % Away PK % Home PP % Away PP %
Albany 82.7%  (14th) 16.2% (21st) 84.2% (14th) 81.6% (14th) 16.1% (22nd) 16.1% (16th)
St. John’s 83.5%  (9th) 18.1% (13th) 83.8% (15th) 83.3% (8th) 16.2% (23rd) 19.8% (8th)

If the last five games of the season are an indication of the first round, we’re not in for a special teams show. The IceCaps PP% during that time was 15% and the Devils was just 11%. In the same time their penalty kills are 85% and 76%, respectively.

Goaltending: St. John’s
With a combined record of 24-7-3, .928 sv%. this season, Michael Hutchinson and Tyler Beskorowany are a solid goaltending tandem. Hutchinson was re-assigned to the IceCaps after going 2-1-0 with a .964 sv% and 1.64 GAA with the Jets in the final few games of the regular season. Hutchinson has been 3-0 with a shutout in the AHL since.  The Devils goaltending duo of Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood has not been stellar. Kinkaid was 24-13-5-4 with a .912 sv% and 2.29 GAA. Wedgewood was 16-14-2-3 with a .899 sv% and 2.39 GAA. Whether it’s Kinkaid or Wedgewood who gets the start for the series, either goaltender will need to be better to steal the series from the IceCaps.

Defence: St. John’s
The Devils will need more production from the back-end if they want to beat the talented, young IceCaps. The IceCaps have both a strong offensive and defensive corps in Brenden Kichton, Zach Redmond, Ben Chiarot, and Jordan Hill. On the Devils side, watch for three strong twenty-one year old palyers in Adam Larsson, Reece Scarlett, and Raman Hrabarenka on the point, who are all producing around a point per two games in the AHL this year and have played well down the stretch.

Forwards: St. John’s
Up front the IceCaps have a great advantage. Captain Jason Jaffray paced the club with 59 points, a new franchise record. The IceCaps top three goal scorers, John Albert (28), Jerome Samson (27), and Andrew Gordon (23) scored 30% of the IceCaps goals this season with a combined 78 goals. Let’s chip in Kael Mouillierat who ended the season with 53 points in 60 games, and rookie JC lipon who had 42 points and 136 PIM.The IceCaps had five 20 goal-scorers and nine players with 40+ points. The Devils had just three players hit the 40-point mark and three 20+ goal scorers: Whitney (22), Sislo (23), and Boucher (22). Watch for Kelly Zajac, the younger brother of New Jersey Devils forward Travis, nineteen year-old Stefan Matteau, and Mattias Tedenby to produce for the Devils as well.

Prediction: St. John’s in 4

Given the IceCaps are a superior road team – the fourth best in the league – the IceCaps are seemingly too powerful for the Devils, both defensively and offensively. The IceCaps have four strong, deep lines that can produce and overpower the Devils. However, if the Devils receive strong goaltending play from Kinkaid/Wedgewood and their four lines skate with the IceCaps, the Devils could make this series go to five games.

Schedule

Game Date Away Home Time
1 Fri, April 25th St. John’s Albany 7:00 EST
2 Sat, April 26th St. John’s Albany 7:00 EST
3 Wed, April 30th Albany St. John’s 6:00 EST
4* Fri, May 2nd Albany St. John’s 6:00 EST
5* Sat, May 3rd Albany St. John’s 7:00 EST

* = if necessary

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Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 studs and duds http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/studs-and-duds-2014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=studs-and-duds-2014 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/studs-and-duds-2014/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:33:08 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6427 With the 2013-14 season for the Winnipeg Jets coming to a close with a win Friday night in Calgary, it's time to take a look at the studs and duds for the Jets organization this past season.

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With the 2013-14 season for the Winnipeg Jets coming to a close with a win Friday night in Calgary, it’s time to take a look at the studs and duds for the Jets organization this past season.

Studs

Mark Scheifele 

The Jets are a young team as it is. The team’s nucleus is comprised of a majority of young players with a little amount of polished veterans making a difference. This year, two of the Jets biggest contributors were rookies Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele. The former first overall draft picks found ways to shine in their respective ways. Despite a slow start, Mark Scheifele had a successful rookie season. He started out on the third line and had his struggles finding his place on the team. It looked like he wasn’t ready for the NHL game, physically and mentally. Fans and media thought that he needed to tweak his game and develop in the minors and he needed a stop in St Johns with the Icecaps. However, once December came along Scheifele began to take stride, tallying 11 points in 14 games. He found chemistry with Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler and eventually found himself comfortable and thriving in his role of second line centre. Scheifele was injured prior to the trade deadline. The teams decline in production showed how crucial Scheifele was to the team.

Jacob Trouba

Meanwhile, on the backend, Jacob Trouba has thrived from day one with the Jets.  The former Michigan Wolverine jumped into the lineup and has displayed the ability to log big minutes. He led all rookies with time on ice per game while averaging 22:36 per night. Not too shabby for a 20 year old. Though Trouba primarily focused on his defensive responsibilities he wasn’t one to shy away from a chance to get involved offensively. He proved this by finishing tied for 11th in rookie scoring with 29 points (10G & 19A). Trouba’s ability to play in all situations is impressive considering this was his rookie season. All signs indicate he is on the path to have a successful NHL career and be a franchise NHL defenceman in the years to come.

Paul Maurice

Disgust filled the hearts of Jets fans on the eve of January 11th. The Jets had lost their 5th straight game and it was apparent that something needed to be changed. The next day, Claude Noel was fired and Paul Maurice was brought in to replace him. The job was described by Maurice and Cheveldayoff as a sort of consulting position; a set of eyes outside of the organization to lend a hand in there evaluation period to prepare for next year. Playoffs were a distant thought and not the concern for fans. They just wanted to see some change. In Maurice’s first 10 games as the Jets coach the team went 8-2. It was a fun part of the season but still nothing much was expected in terms of playoff hopes. But as the Olympic break began playoffs looked like a serious possibility. Those dreams would soon be crushed but nevertheless fans enjoyed the ride and Maurice started winning over the hearts of Jets fans. Maurice has stated that it’s his family’s choice on wether he comes back next year. Maurice has stated he loves it in Winnipeg and has enjoyed his time but reiterates his family comes first. He is a family man. With a full training camp to get his message across to players, Maurice could implement a solid foundation and system within the group.

Blake Wheeler

The Winnipeg Jets this season have been called a team with out a “star.” Wheeler might not be a star but as of late he has been playing like one. Wheeler finished the year with career high 69 points (28G & 41A) in 82 games. The speedy power forward is a force when he drives to the net. His admirable combination of size and speed in his game is lethal. He was named to the Team USA’s Olympic hockey team. Even though he did not play much, after the Olympic break he came back to Winnipeg engaged and ready to compete. Despite Wheeler’s rather slow start he found a way to bounce back and return to regular form. Wheeler has proven to be a leader on the ice, leading by example. When Wheeler is engaged he can truly be a game changer.  This year Wheeler was the Jets best player. He has my vote for team MVP this season and he did everything well this season. He is a true warrior and competitor and a fun player to watch.

Honarable mentions: Michael Frolik and Bryan Little

Duds

Kevin Cheveldayoff

I do not believe in a team being better than their record. That sort of chatter tends to be brought up a lot here in Winnipeg. There are a lot of unrealistic expectations with this Winnipeg Jets team. Lets say it how it is: This team did not have a chance to compete for a playoff spot. The lineup was not built to compete in the West. Cheveldayoff failed to put together a team with talent throughout the lineup. When Mark Scheifele was injured this become very apparent. Olli Jokinen could not step in and fulfill the duties as the second line centre, creating a gaping whole at the centre. The team lacked depth at forward. Due to the lack of depth the Jets had to play three lines and then fatigue came into play. The defenceman and goaltending need some work as well. Cheveldayoff needs to become less reluctant to make a move this offseason.

Evander Kane

There always seems to be something to talk about with Kane. Wether it’s the infamous “money phone” incident, his alleged dining and dashing sprees or alleged assault lawsuit. In recent events Kane was scratched for missing a team function. Times have been tough for Kane off the ice. But on the ice things haven’t gone so smoothly either. Kane’s point production declined this year. Yes, Kane was injured at times but that doesn’t mean much. Kane is described as an elite player by some but I don’t buy it. An elite player isn’t invisible most nights when he isn’t with top players. An elite player can create offence by themselves and not from their line mates. I thinks it’s evident that its time for Kane to go. I also don’t think Kane would mind a change at all. The Jets should act fast and trade Kane as soon as they can when his value is still high. If the right offer comes around the Jets could get some picks and prospects to help Chevy with his plan of drafting and developing.

Devin Setoguchi

Setoguchi’s year in Winnipeg didn’t go as well as expected. The Jets traded a second round pick for the former 30-goal scorer. Before the season, some had penciled in Setoguchi as the second line right wing for the Jets. During the year, Setoguchi found himself on the third and fourth lines and having multiple stints in the pressbox.  Setoguchi was brought in to put the puck in the net. He seemed like he could be a perfect compliment to Evander Kane. His struggles offensively and his poor effort every night make this acquisition a dud. The Jets did not trade Setoguchi at the deadline, which came as a surprise to some. The truth is, how many teams really wanted him? The Jets are left with horrible memories of his playing time here and the thought that they wasted a second round pick on nothing.

Honorable mentions: Zach Bogosian

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Did the Jets lock-up Bogosian too soon? http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/bogosian-too-soon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bogosian-too-soon http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/bogosian-too-soon/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:43:07 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6425 The disastrous 2013-14 season for the Winnipeg Jets is coming to a close. The team has failed as a whole at reaching its goal of making the playoffs.  Injuries have affected the Jets. Thus far, after 80 games, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler are the only players to have played all 82 games. One player […]

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The disastrous 2013-14 season for the Winnipeg Jets is coming to a close. The team has failed as a whole at reaching its goal of making the playoffs.  Injuries have affected the Jets. Thus far, after 80 games, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler are the only players to have played all 82 games. One player that has had a very hard time staying healthy this year and throughout his brief career is Zach Bogosian.

Prior to the 2013-14 season, the Jets signed defenceman Zach Bogosian to a seven year $36 million dollar contract. That’s quite lucrative for the Atlanta Thrashers 2008 first round pick.

This year, it is no different.

Bogosian has played 55 games this year and a season low 11 points (3G & 8A).

It’s been a very poor season for the former Peterborough Pete. The Jets locked up Bogosian last summer to a rather large contract for a player that hasn’t hit north of 30 points in his career. Though offence is not Bogosian’s strong suit, signing somebody to a cap hit of $5.1 million dollars a year that hasn’t hit over 30 points yet was an odd move.

Bogosian has been a fan favourite in Winnipeg.

His tough style of play is likeable and his defensive play has shown promise. This year, it has been a different story for Bogosian.

He has struggled in both parts of the game, defensively and offensively. The Jets gave Bogosian the money that they think he will be worthy of towards the end of his contract.

That is not how the Jets should have handled his contract.

They should have signed Bogosian to a bridge contract before they signed this sort of extensive and costly contract.

A bridge contract is a contract of 1 or 2 years, which is a sort of evaluation period for a player when the team is unsure how much the player is worth. These contracts are given out so the team can get a better grip on the player’s ability and what the player is worth.

For example, P.K Subban sat out the first four games of the lockout shortened 2012-13 season while contract negotiations were ongoing. Subban wanted a long term contract, but the Canadiens would not budge.

Subban signed a two year bridge contract worth $5.25 million dollars.

At the end of that year he captured the Norris Trophy, an award given to the NHL’s best defeneceman.

Signing Bogosian to a seven year contract is a crazy thing to do along with the fact they are signing him to top dollar money for a player that has proven so little is strange. The Jets have preached patience with their developing of NHL prospects. You would think they would have a similar style in RFA signings but this contract shows otherwise.

By The Numbers

Zach Bogosian has a $5.1 million dollar cap hit on his salary.

That is the 25th highest cap hit for a defenceman in the NHL.

That might not seem like a huge number, but it is when you only score 11 points and have an inability to stay healthy. Bogosian has been more relavent in the Jets chequebooks than on the ice. Typically people that make north of $5 million dollars are impact players for their teams.

Zach Bogoisan makes more money than…

D  Kevin Shatenkirk (STL)
$4.2 cap hit, 44 points in 78 games this season. Played for Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
D Ryan McDonagh (NYR)
$4.7 cap hit, 43 points in 77 games this season. Can play in all game situations and log big minutes. Good size, skating and shot.
D  Marc- Edouard Vlasic (SJ)
$4.2 mil cap hit. 24 points in 79 games. One of the leagues best defensive defenceman. He represented Canada at the Sochi Olympic games.
D Paul Martin (PIT)
$5 mil cap hit. 13 points in 36 games. Named to Team USA for the Sochi Winter Olympics. Can log big minutes and has good size. Plays well in most areas of the game.

Conclusion

Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has stated that he believes in the Jets young core of players. Chevy put his money where his mouth is this past summer and locked up Bryan Little (5 year, $23.5 mil) Blake Wheeler (6 years, $33.6 mil) and Zach Bogosian ( 7 year, $36 mil).

Little and Wheeler have been arguably the Jets two best players.

Cheveldayoff might have signed Bogosian to his large contract to have his whole core in place. The Jets sounded confident in the ability of its core group of players and leadership.

After this year’s disastrous season there are things to rethink especially Bogosian’s contract.

At this point it seems like his contract came a little too soon. One thing about Bogosian is that Jets management must be happy about is his willingness to express his love for Winnipeg.

It is apparent he loves Winnipeg and wants to be a part of this team for a long time.  

I’m not giving up on Bogosian at all but his lucrative contract is hard to ignore when he is injured the majority of the season. Who knows maybe the remaining 6 seasons of his contract will be outstanding.

Bogosian’s play is one of the many things up in the air with this team.

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JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ CALGARY http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/82-winnipeg-calgary/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=82-winnipeg-calgary http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/82-winnipeg-calgary/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:06:54 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6423 The Winnipeg Jets take the ice for the final time in the 2013/2014 NHL season. Both them and their final opponents, the Calgary Flames will miss the playoffs yet another season. These teams are in similar situation, both on the rebuild, both playing for the future.

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (36-35-12) at Calgary Flames (35-38-7) 8:00 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome TV: TSNJets, S-NET W Radio:TSN 1290

The Winnipeg Jets take the ice for the final time in the 2013/2014 NHL season. Both them and their final opponents, the Calgary Flames will miss the playoffs yet another season. These teams are in similar situation, both on the rebuild, both playing for the future. The Jets may be a couple years ahead of the Flames but the future looks bright for both teams and Friday should be a fast and exciting game. Both teams are playing a lot of their young talent, evaluating for the future, and planning for next season. That means that many of the players in the game still have a lot to play for and you should get a pretty good match up, Lets Go!

Flames

The Calgary Flames sit 13th in the West and that is where they will stay. Before the Jets win over Boston Thursday night the Flames still had slim hopes of passing Winnipeg but as it stands the Canadian teams take up the bottom of the West. It has been another trying season for Flames fans, losing nearly 40 games, but in all the losses there has been some positives. This team has been far more competitive than most expected, beating some really good teams, and playing far more close games decided by just a goal or two. One of the pleasant surprises of the season was the play of young Sean Monahan. The sixth pick in last seasons draft proved himself a full time NHLer this season playing 73 games, notching 21 goals and 12 assists. Though his defensive play has been suspect at times, that is something he will grow into, and there are far more positives to his game than negatives. Friday will be the Flames second to last game as they will close out the season Sunday night in Vancouver.

Jets

Although having nothing to play for, the Winnipeg Jets came out Thursday night in their last home game of the season and played one of their best, and most exciting games of the year, beating the Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout. It was an inspiring effort by the team who very easily could have just packed things up and went home early, instead however they took the play to the probable President Trophy winners and earned two points in front of their home crowd. Two players stood out for Winnipeg, goalie Michael Hutchinson earned his first career win and looked like a seasoned veteran, instead of a guy getting only his second start ever. The other player who stood up and performed was Blake Wheeler. It is becoming more and more clear that Blake Wheeler is the real star on this team. He is the best player on the ice in a Jets jersey on a night to night basis and takes no games off. This team need more Blake Wheeler, if you can get more of that next season, they’ll be playing later into April without a doubt.

Keys to the Game

Last Game: The Jets will be tired no doubt playing the 82nd game of their season, and second in as many nights but there is nothing else going on. Put it all out there and get the W.

Create Seperation: Sure the Jets are near the bottom of the standings but go out there and dominate. Prove that there is more space between you and the bottom than you and the top.

Earn Jobs: Zach Redmond, Paul Postma, Eric Odell, Patrice Cormier, and some others are all playing for jobs next season. Go out there and show you belong in an NHL jersey.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (22-26-7) GAA: 3.01 SV% .901
Karri Ramo (17-13-4) GAA: 2.54 SV% .915

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Pavelec WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Thorburn WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Bogosian WPG, (unknown) day-to-day
Ladd WPG, (lower body) out
Setoguchi WPG, (personal) out
Byfuglien WPG, (torn muscle) out

Wotherspoon CGY, (shoulder) day-to-day
Byron CGY, (personal) day-to-day
Smid CGY, (upper body) day-to-day
Granlund CGY, (upper body) day-to-day
Wideman CGY, (upper body) day-to-day
Jones CGY, (upper body) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Flames: 3-7-0

Prediction

Jets close with a win
Jets 5 Flames 3

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JETBLAST: BOSTON @ WINNIPEG http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/81-boston-winnipeg/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=81-boston-winnipeg http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/81-boston-winnipeg/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:35:46 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6421 The Winnipeg Jets close their home schedule Thursday night when the Boston Bruins visit the MTS Centre. Jets fans have one last shot to take a look at their team before Fridays season finale in Calgary.

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (35-35-10) at Boston Bruins (53-18-8) 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre,TV: TSNJets Radio:TSN 1290

The Winnipeg Jets close their home schedule Thursday night when the Boston Bruins visit the MTS Centre. Jets fans have one last shot to take a look at their team before Fridays season finale in Calgary. Though the Bruins have their division and Conference locked up they are still in a race for the Presidents Trophy so it will be interesting to see who they dress and who they rest. The Bruins took the first meeting between these teams by a 4-1 score in Boston and the Jets will have to play great if they want to avoid a repeat performance. The last home game of the season, Lets Go!

Bruins

The Boston Bruins have once again been one of the best teams in the NHL this season and have got too be a favorite heading into the playoffs. The Bruins are 16 points ahead in their division, 7 ahead in their conference and 2 ahead in league standings. The B’s have been completely dominant this year and will be a very difficult match for anyone in the playoffs. The Bruins play without any one star scoring all the goals, but this is their strength, they have a complete group of players that put the puck in the net and are just as good on their own end of the ice. In net Tukka Rask has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season and will be in the conversation for the Vezina trophy. On paper this is a very one sided match up but with the Bruins probably resting some of their stars anything could happen.

Jets

The Jets know this season is over, a 90 minute bag skate from coach Paul Maurice however set the tone for next season. Winnipeg is playing many of their future talent these last few games, with Ladd, Byfuglien, Scheifele, and a few others calling it a season already giving management a chance to evaluate some of the up and comers who may be able to crack this squad next season. Expect Michael Hutchinson to get his second straight start. The game against Minnesota, the first in his career, should be classified as a success for the young goaltender. Though he took the loss he stopped 16 of 17 shots and looked as though he belonged. This will be a tougher test for the young goalie but one he most certainly looks forward to.

Keys to the Game

Close Strong: The last game in front of a home crowd, make it count and send the city home happy headed into next season.

Generate some offense: The Jets have struggled to score goals the last couple weeks of the season, they need to get a few today as you can be sure the Bruins will put some numbers on the board.

Respond: A 90 minute bag skate sure got the fans and the medias attention, but how did it effect the players? That will be a big factor in how the game goes tonight.

Starting Goalies

Michael Hutchinson (0-1-0) GAA: 1.03 SV% .941
Chad Johnson (17-3-2) GAA: 2.12 SV% .923

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Pavelec WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Thorburn WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Bogosian WPG, (unknown) day-to-day
Ladd WPG, (lower body) out

Iginla BOS, (lower body) day-to-day
Seidenberg BOS, (torn ACL and MCL) out
Savard BOS, (PCS) out
McQuaid BOS, (leg) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Bruins: 6-3-1

Prediction

Bruins are to strong for the Jets
Bruins 4 Jets 1

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Should the Jets trade Evander Kane http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/trade-evander-kane/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trade-evander-kane http://winnipegwhiteout.com/news/trade-evander-kane/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:11:06 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6417 On April 5, the Winnipeg Jets faced the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night In Canada. The game had no meaning to the Jets. Meanwhile on the other side of the ice, this game was crucial to the Leafs during their fight for a playoff spot. As the Jets hit the ice, they were missing […]

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On April 5, the Winnipeg Jets faced the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night In Canada. The game had no meaning to the Jets.

Meanwhile on the other side of the ice, this game was crucial to the Leafs during their fight for a playoff spot.

As the Jets hit the ice, they were missing someone. Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane was a healthy scratch. This comes just days after a report came out that Evander Kane was being hit with a lawsuit over an alleged assault.

This isn’t out of character for Kane, who has seen his fair share of off-ice incidents. Nevertheless, the scratch of Kane came as some sort of a surprise.

Earlier in the day, Coach Paul Maurice said the Leafs deserved to face the Jets best line-up. So when Evander Kane was not inserted in to the lineup, Maurice’s comments came as a surprise.

Despite Kane’s struggles, replacing him with Devin Setoguchi was an odd move.

When Paul Maurice was asked on how Kane could get back in to the Jets line-up his reply was “probably just come to the rink.”

Maurice could have been implying Kane’s effort is not up to par and he needs to work harder at practice. This is just another distraction caused by Kane.

The former 30 goal scorer has battled injuries this year and along with that Kane has struggled production wise. In 60 games, Kane has scored 39 points (17G &22A). Numbers that are not up to par for a player that will be paid $6 million dollars next year, making him the highest paid Jets player on the roster.

Why he should be traded

It’s evident that the relationship between the Jets and Kane is, at best, rocky. Since Evander Kane has set foot in to Winnipeg, fresh off the plane from his glamorous life in Atlanta, trade rumors have swirled around.

The return for a player that has scored 30 goals showed that he is one of the fastest players in the NHL and that he plays a good hard physical game – all at the age of 22 – will attract numerous teams.

The problem is, the value for Kane has declined this year.

In the summer there were talks of big deals in place for Kane, but with his poor play and more off ice distractions, teams could shy away from the former 30-goal scorer.

Kane doesn’t fit in Winnipeg.

Being under the spotlight in a small city like Winnipeg is a hard thing to manage when you’re that young and want to enjoy the life in the show off the ice. The value for Kane might not be the same as it was the last two years, but if the Jets pull the trigger on a deal early in the off-season they could cash in on a return that would benefit the Jets in the future.

The problem is, not just in hockey but in professional sports as a whole, teams look at someone’s character and judgement and a lot of the time, ones work ethic.

Kane has proven that he is more driven to have success for himself rather than helping the team win games.

His selfish play on the ice doesn’t go unnoticed.

Something I have noticed that I find odd is that often players wear team hats, shirts or any merchandise with the team logo. You often can find him wearing his own set of merchandise and wearing his self-proclaimed nickname “The Natural”.

Teams want someone who is all in and is prepared to buy in to the team’s system.

That player is not Kane and that is why some teams could shy away from packaging a big offer for the speedy forward.

The Jets should trade Kane as soon as they get a good offer. It’s time to follow Chevy’s plan and draft and develop.

Acquiring picks and prospects in return is the way to do that.

Why he shouldn’t be traded

Maybe people have judged Evander Kane too fast.

What if the Jets trade Kane and then he breaks out and scores 40 goals?

The consequences of trading Kane are real. Kane has loads of potential and that’s why the Thrashers drafted him fourth overall in 2009. The former Vancouver Giant has shown at every level he can put the puck in the net and goal scoring is hard to find in the NHL.

The Jets have made their fair share of bad trades and trading away Evander Kane could turn out to be a big mistake.

Before Kane’s hand injury prior to the Olympic break, he had found chemistry with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.

The line had the perfect balance of speed, size and skill and proved to be a deadly line.

For those reasons the Jets could be reluctant to trade Kane.

Conclusion

The talk of Evander Kane being elite and people saying the Jets have not found him line mates to play with bothers me.

If he is an elite player, he should be able to produce with whomever he plays with. In retrospect, Evander Kane is not elite and he has had ample opportunity to produce and has played with almost everybody on the roster.

As you can see above, my reasoning for why he should be traded is much longer than my reasoning as to why he shouldn’t be traded.

Kane is not suited to play in a big market – especially in Canada.

When you’re 22 years old it could be hard sometimes to have fun without the whole city knowing. News travels fast – Kane has taken it to the next level and his off ice charades must come to an end.

Maybe a team like Florida, Phoenix or Dallas would take an interest in Kane and trade for him.

A quiet hockey market that would suit Kane well.

One thing is for sure, the relationship between the Jets and Kane doesn’t seem to be getting better and it’s best that he goes.

Do you think the Jets should trade Evander Kane?

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JETBLAST: MINNESOTA @ WINNIPEG http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/80-minnesota-winnipeg/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=80-minnesota-winnipeg http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/80-minnesota-winnipeg/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:41:37 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6416 JETBLAST Minnesota Wild (40-26-12) at Winnipeg Jets (35-34-10) at 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre,TV: TSNJets Radio:TSN 1290 One of the hottest rivalries that has developed since the Jets return to Winnipeg takes another step Monday night when the Minnesota Wild visit the MTS Centre for their 5th meeting of the year. The rivalry has been pretty one sided […]

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JETBLAST

Minnesota Wild (40-26-12) at Winnipeg Jets (35-34-10) at 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre,TV: TSNJets Radio:TSN 1290

One of the hottest rivalries that has developed since the Jets return to Winnipeg takes another step Monday night when the Minnesota Wild visit the MTS Centre for their 5th meeting of the year. The rivalry has been pretty one sided so far this year with the Wild taking 3 of the first 4, and it shows in the standings. The Wild are on the verge of clinching, pretty much locked into the 1st wild card spot. The JEts continue to play for pride and after a win in Toronto have a chance to clinch a season over .500. Jets and Wild in Winnipeg Monday night, Lets Go!

Wild

The Minnesota Wild will almost certainly be heading to a playoff spot and hope to make some noise. It is not out of the question for the Wild to make a bit of a run, with strong play up front and the recent play of Ilya Bryzgalov, who looks to have regained his past form, the Wild are a dangerous team. Bryzgalov, who was acquired at the trade deadline has been great for the Wild, 5-0-3, 2 shutouts, and a 9.20 save percentage, is one of the leagues hottest goalies. The Wild appear to be strong in all assets of the game, from the front end all the way back, the Wild are going to be a very tough out come playoff time. One fact that has got to scare any playoff match up for the Wild, is their road record. They will finish the season over .500 away from home and have earned a point in 8 straight games out of Minnesota. They look to make it 9 on Monday.

Jets

Winnipeg back up above .500 after putting a huge dent in the Leafs playoff hopes and offering a little solace to Jets fans. The Jets have 3 more games this season, including another at home after tonight, the Jets have a good chance to finish above .500 which in the long run really doesn’t matter, however fans are clutching to anything positive to bring into next season. One story that came out of the game on Saturday is the status of head coach Paul Maurice who for the first time addressed his situation for next season. Maurice, who came to Winnipeg after the firing of Claude Noel, and has done a good job, was signed to a contract for just this season, Saturday he finally confirmed that he wants to come back next season. This is good news for Jets fans as Maurice seems to have gotten something out of his players and you’d like to see him build and grow this team.

Keys to the Game

Evander Kane: Kane was a healthy scratch in Toronto, it will be interesting to see how he takes it. If he is back in the lineup tonight can he bounce back and play well, or will he pout and play poor?

Traffic: Bryzgalov has been hot and will stop everything he can see, get in front of him and create some chaos or you will not have much success.

Set the tone: The Jets closest rival geographically has dominated the season series this year, and with 5 more games next season the Jets cannot let themselves be pushed around. Play tough and strong and make sure the Wild do not think you are an easy game.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (22-26-7) GAA: 3.01 SV% .901
Ilya Bryzgalov (10-8-8) GAA: 2.66 SV% .911

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Pavelec WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Thorburn WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Bogosian WPG, (unknown) day-to-day

Stoner MIN, (lower body) day-to-day
Ballard MIN, (lower body) day-to-day
Granlund MIN, (upper body) day-to-day
Kuemper MIN, (upper body) day-to-day
Rupp MIN, (illness) day-to-day
Zucker MIN, (leg) out
Backstrom MIN, (soreness) day-to-day
Harding MIN, (illness) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Wild: 5-3-2

Prediction

Wild take fourth of season vs Jets
Wild 3 Jets 1

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JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ TORONTO http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/79-winnipeg-toronto/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=79-winnipeg-toronto http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/79-winnipeg-toronto/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 15:31:15 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6415 JETBLAST Winnipeg Jets (34-34-10) at Toronto Maple Leafs (38-32-8) at 6:00 p.m., Air Canada Centre,TV: CBC Radio:TSN 1290 A game after officially being eliminated from the playoff hunt the Jets try to do the same to another team fighting to punch their ticket to the post season dance when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey […]

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (34-34-10) at Toronto Maple Leafs (38-32-8) at 6:00 p.m., Air Canada Centre,TV: CBC Radio:TSN 1290

A game after officially being eliminated from the playoff hunt the Jets try to do the same to another team fighting to punch their ticket to the post season dance when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada. The Jets saw their hopes statistically crushed with the loss to Pittsburgh Thursday, however the Jets have known for weeks their playoff hopes were all but dead. The Leafs on the other hand, were at one point a lock to make the playoffs, sitting 3rd in the Conference. An 8 game losing streak later and they need every point they can muster just to try and get in. The Jets won game one of the season series on a Dustin Byfuglien overtime goal in January, the Leafs look to get revenge and earn two extremely important points Saturday night, Lets Go!

Maple Leafs

The Leafs have been a team of streaks in the last couple months. Their string of 8 straight losses played them right out of an almost assured playoff spot, and they now need to pretty much win out for a shot at the post season. The Leafs have taken their last two however and put themselves back in the discussion. Siting just a point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the last spot, if they can win tonight they will be back in possession of that last spot, though Columbus will have two games in hand. With only 4 games remaining the Leafs are definitely behind the 8 ball, but if they can rattle off these last four games and earn the eight possible points they will put themselves in the driver seat. It looks as though they will need to do this without the services of their number one goaltender however as Jonathan Bernier, who was hurt in the Bruins game, will not be ready for Saturday and is uncertain the rest of the season. It will fall into the hands of James Reimer, and the team will largely go as he does.

Jets

Another loss drops the Jets back down to .500 on the season and with only 4 games remaining on their schedule it is experiment time for Winnipeg. It would appear Michael Hutchinson will get his first National Hockey League start on Saturday. Coach Maurice stated he wants to get Hutchinson in the net before the end of the season, and this seems like a good opportunity. Hutchinson is 15-5 for St. Johns and his amazing play since Eddie Pasquale went down with injury, may have pushed him ahead on all the depth charts. The Jets will also continue to look long and hard at the guys playing on their third and fourth lines right now, trying to decide who has a spot next year, whose spot may be up for grabs, and who they may want to deal.

Keys to the Game

Goaltending: Reimer was shaky to say the least in his last few starts but he will now be relied on to take this team to the playoffs. On the other end it looks like a rookie will get his first start in front of the whole nation, how he responds goes a long way to deciding the game

Top Line: Kessel, JVR, and Bozak carry the Leafs offensively, it is no surprise that while they struggled the team did as well. They come up big against Boston, each getting on the score sheet. If they can get hot they’ll give the Leafs a chance.

Beat the Evil Empire: Though Jets fans are down and out when it comes to playoffs, knocking out the Leafs would be a pretty great feeling to many fans. Play spoiler and ruin the Leafs hopes.

Starting Goalies

Michael Hutchinson (First NHL Start) With St. Johns (AHL):  (15-5-1) GAA: 2.33 SV% .923
James Reimer (12-13-1) GAA: 3.39 SV% .908

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Pavelec WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Thorburn WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Bogosian WPG, (unknown) day-to-day

Bernier TOR, (lower body) out
Lupul TOR, (lower body) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Maple Leafs: 2-8-0

Prediction

Jets spoil Leafs party
Jets 3 Maple Leafs 2

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JETBLAST: PITTSBURGH @ WINNIPEG http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/78-pittsburgh-winnipeg/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=78-pittsburgh-winnipeg http://winnipegwhiteout.com/game-day/2013-14/78-pittsburgh-winnipeg/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 01:40:23 +0000 http://winnipegwhiteout.com/?p=6414 JETBLAST Pittsburgh Penguins (33-33-9) at Winnipeg Jets (48-18-8) at 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre,TV: TSNJetsRadio:TSN 1290 Winnipeg is back from a 5 game Western Conference road trip in which they went 2-2-1, they saw some success as well as some pretty ugly failure. Their return home gets no easier as one of the best teams in the […]

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JETBLAST

Pittsburgh Penguins (33-33-9) at Winnipeg Jets (48-18-8) at 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre,TV: TSNJetsRadio:TSN 1290

Winnipeg is back from a 5 game Western Conference road trip in which they went 2-2-1, they saw some success as well as some pretty ugly failure. Their return home gets no easier as one of the best teams in the league, the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the MTS Centre for one last meeting this season. The Pens won the only other visit back on January 5th by a 6-5 score. Neither teams has been all that hot recently, both under .500 in their last 10. The difference, the Pens are headed to the playoffs with home ice advantage, while one more loss will officially kill the Jets playoff chances, so Lets Go!

Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are once again going to finish the season at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. They have all but clinched the Metropolitan with an 11 point lead with just a week left in the season. Of course you can not talk about the Pens without bringing up Sidney Crosby. Crosby has had another great season, with over 100 points, and nearly 40 goals, but it is another achievement that he is on the verge of that should excite fans the most. For the first time in his career it looks as though Crosby will play every game of the 82 game schedule. This has been especially important this season as the Pens have faced some tough times on the injury front. With nearly every other star player missing time, the most recent being Evgeni Malkin who has been on the shelf with a foot injury. The Penguins will likely have him back for the playoffs however, and that is when it really counts for Pittsburgh.

Jets

After the embarrassing collapse in Anaheim where the Jets let a 4 goal lead slip through their fingers, they rebounded impressively with a 2-1 shootout win in Phoenix and left the road trip with half of the possible points. Now the Jets return home where they will play 3 of their final 5 games. The Jets will be competing largely for the fans at this point as their playoff hope rest on them pretty much winning the lottery. 5 wins themselves and a ton of help from everyone else. As I’ve written in the past week, now is largely about observing talent and working on a future plan. Whether there will be changes in the off-season or not remains to be seen but you can be sure that rumors will swirl and theories will be put forward all off season.

Keys to the Game

Something for the Crowd: The Winnipeg crowd continues to support the Jets and be among the top of the league, though the playoffs are not in the cards this season at least send Winnipeg home happy.

Earn the spot between the Pipes: Winnipeg biggest question in the off-season will be goal tending. Pavelec has been disappointing since signing a big contract and Al Montoya is up for free agency, who has that number one spot come next season could be anyone.

Control Crosby: Leading the scoring race is incredibly impressive, however, leading by 20 points is unbelievable. You must shut down the best player in the game if you want a shot at this game.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (21-25-7) GAA: 3.01 SV% .902
Marc-Andre Fleury (36-18-4) GAA: 2.36 SV% .916

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Pavelec WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Thorburn WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Bogosian WPG, (unknown) day-to-day

Goc PIT, (ankle) day-to-day
Malkin PIT, (foot) day-to-day
Martin PIT, (broken hand) out
Vitale PIT, (upper body) day-to-day
Letang PIT (stroke) out
Dupuis PIT, (torn ACL) out
Vokoun PIT, (blood clot) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Penguins: 4-5-1

Prediction

Penguins good, too good
Penguins 4 Jets 2

The post JETBLAST: PITTSBURGH @ WINNIPEG appeared first on Winnipeg Whiteout.

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