JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Jan. 23/12 Jets @ Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes vs Winnipeg Jets

(17-24-9) 43 points (22-20-6) 50 points

15th in East, 5th in Southeast

10th in East, 3rd in Southeast

Hurricanes

The Hurricanes have struggled all year but have a chance to climb out of the Eastern basement with a win over the Jets. In fact a Canes win and an Islanders loss would move them up to a tie with Montreal for 11th in the East and only four points behind the Jets.

To say this is an important game for both teams is a bit of an understatement.

Carolina is fresh off a big 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday but followed it up with a 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday.

To win the game they’ll have to find a way to beat Chris Mason who is 3-0-0 against them this season and 5-2-1 for his career.

Jets

The Jets battled back hard to force a shoot out with the Panthers after trailing 2-0 after one and 2-1 after two. After tying the game, a bad turnover ended up trickling across the line after Pavelec got a piece, then lost it and the sold out crowd watched in agony as it dribbled behind him.

The shoot out saw the Jets score twice but Pavelec was unable to shut the door and lost it in the seventh round. While they picked up a point they gave up two points to a team they are trying to catch. If the Jets are to make the playoffs they need to capitalize on four point games within their division.

Tonight is a four point game but with a team trying to catch them and a team they have beaten in the three previous matchups this season. A win will ensure a series win for the Jets with two games against the Canes left on the schedule.

Keys to Victory

The Jets need to not look past the Canes and bring all they’ve got and think about the Rangers after the game. Carolina recently shut out the Capitals and we know all too well that any team can beat anyone in this league. The Jets can’t take them lightly and need to go for the jugular and take control in the first period.

Lead going into the third. The Jets have yet to win a game when trailing to start the third period. They almost managed to accomplish that feat Saturday but the Panthers would have nothing of it taking the shoot out win.

Mason has to continue his dominance this year over the Hurricanes. He had three wins in two starts versus Carolina and he could and should be the difference in this game.

Burmistrov on the top line. I’m a fan of Eric Fehr but he’s struggling and I don’t know what the answer is for him but Burmie needs ice time. After half a game beside Little and Wheeler he should get the start with them. When he does, look for big things on a line with three highly skilled and creative forwards.

Take it to them, the Jets out hit the panthers by the tune of a 4-1 ratio and if they can bring that intensity to a game with a team already down on their luck, the Canes will crawl back into their bench and disappear.

Injuries

Dustin Byfuglien (knee) out
Tim Stapleton (lower body) out
Evander Kane (concussion) out

Starting Goalies

Jets – Chris Mason (Confirmed)
Hurricanes – Cam Ward (Confirmed)

Prediction

It’s not surprising that Chris “The Hurricane Killer” Mason gets the start in net and the Canes should be the perfect place to debut his new pads. More importantly the Hurricanes have struggled against just about everybody this year but no team has had their number more then the Winnipeg Jets.

I’d say it’s safe to say that Jet beats Hurricane and this game should be no different.

Strong play from Mason will result in a Jets win and more importantly two points in the standings.

Winnipeg Jets 3 – Carolina Hurricanes 0

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Jeff Stevenson is a co-founder of winnipegwhiteout.com and co-host of the popular Jets Hockey Podcast. He grew up in Winnipeg, MB and became very passionate about sports, hockey and the Jets. Now Jeff is proud and honored to help bring news and information about the Winnipeg Jets to fans around the world.