JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Feb. 5/12 Jets @ Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens vs Winnipeg Jets

(19-24-9) 47 points (24-23-6) 54 points

14th in East, 5th in Northeast

10th in East, 3rd in Southeast

Canadiens

Montreal dropped a 3-0 loss to the Washington Capitals yesterday and head into their eighth back-to-back game of the season. Unlike the Jets they have had some success going 3-4 so far, one of those loses however was a 4-0 defeat by the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. Plagued by an English-speaking coach (sarcasm) the Habs have struggled all season and have already made one big trade with more likely on the way.

Peter Budaj was in net last night giving All Star Carey Price the night off to be ready for the Winnipeg Jets tonight. Price has gone 2-1-0 versus the Jets with a 2.33 GAA.

Jets

Still in the playoff hunt but with a target set for 96 points the Jets need to obtain 42 out of 58 remaining points available to them. That means they can only lose 8 more games all season to reach that goal. It took 93 points for the Rangers to sneak into the post season last year so the Jets have little room for error if they want to be playing an 83rd game this year.

The Jets have 9 games remaining against teams currently with more than 60 points, the Habs are certainly not one of those teams and is a game the club needs to win. Byfuglien continues to be strong since his return from a knee injury but the Jets have scored only three goals in regulation over their last three games and need to find some scoring fast. Evander Kane remains on the sidelines with a concussion and since his injury they have only scored seven goals in six games.

Keys to Victory

Score goals, when the Jets have managed to put four or more in the net they are 12-1-1. They’ve hardly been able to score since leading goal scorer Evander Kane has been injured.

Get bodies in front of Price. He’s one of the hardest goalies in the league to get rattled but the old adage stands true. When you are having trouble scoring getting bodies in front and throw the puck on the net.

Get good goaltending. Pavelec has been the reason the Jets have won many games this year, if the goal scoring can’t pick up he needs to be unbeatable yet once again.

Get up and don’t look back. When Winnipeg has been at their best they have gotten an early lead and kept the foot on the gas. When playing against a lesser team you need to stay hungry and not let up for 60 minutes.

Injuries

Tim Stapleton (lower body) out
Evander Kane (concussion) out

Starting Goalies

Jets – Ondrej Pavelec (18-17-6, 2.74, .912) [Unconfirmed]
Canadiens – Carey Price (17-19-8, 2.43, .913) [Unconfirmed]

Prediction

This is very much a game the Jets should win, so naturally they will end up losing. They are catching Montreal on an early start time after playing a game the day before and the Jets should be able to take advantage of that. That being said the Jets are 1-2 this season when the game starts before 5pm, the lone win came against Philadelphia a team they have owned the past few years. Montreal unfortunately will get the victory.

Winnipeg Jets 3 – Montreal Canadiens 5

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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.