JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Mar. 1/12 Panthers at Jets

(30-20-12) 72 points (30-27-8) 68 points

3rd in East, 1st in Southeast

9th in East, 3rd in Southeast

Panthers

The Panthers retook the southeast division lead after Winnipeg failed to win against St. Louis and Edmonton. They have reeled off 3 straight wins to sit 4 points up on Winnipeg and 3 points up on Washington. With Toronto’s recent struggles it may come down to the three southeast teams for 3rd place and 8th place in the East.

The Panthers will be without Jet Killer Kris Versteeg and will have to get strong team play to steal two points in hostile territory. This is the fifth match up between the two teams this season, Florida has walked away with 7 points while the Jets have gotten 3.

The final two games (tonight and April 3) could very well decide who finishes ahead in this tight race. The Panthers are trying to take all three games played at the MTS Centre, something no other team can do.

Jets

The Jets got a vote of coincidence from GM Kevin Chevaldayoff only to lay an egg against the Edmonton Oilers giving up four goals in the third period to blow a 2-1 lead. Losing games like that could prove to be the reason the Jets are golfing mid April instead of fighting for the cup.

With 8 games against division rivals winning 7 of those should all but guarantee a playoff spot should they do decent the rest of the way. Losing more than one divisional game will make it very hard for the Jets to win the division and they will have to hope that they can sneak into 8th place.

Zach Bogosian will return to action, Grant Clitsome could see his first game action if not Randy Jones and Mark Flood would remain in the line up.

Keys to Victory

Keep the power play hot. The Jets have gotten it going with the man advantage and capitalizing on the power play could be the difference in the game

Don’t take stupid penalties. While the power play has been good they can’t let the Panthers get too many chances of their own or the Jets will pay the price.

Score first. The Jets continue to be better when they score first at home. The blown game against Edmonton was the first time they lost in regulation after scoring first and adding another goal.

Ondrej the Giant. He is the Jets MVP and if he has a let down game after a frustrating loss the Jets are done.

Injuries

Zach Bogosian (Upper Body) – Probable

Starting Goalies

Jets – Ondrej Pavelec (23-21-7, 2.82, .909) [Unconfirmed]
Panthers – Jose Theodore (17-11-6, 2.40, .919) [Unconfirmed]

Prediction

The Jets will rebound and the absence of Versteeg will leave the Panthers unable to score.

Winnipeg Jets 2 – Florida Panthers 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.

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