JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Apr. 3/12 Jets at Panthers

(35-27-17) 91 points (36-34-9) 81 points

3rd in East, 1st in Southeast

11th in East, 4th in Southeast

Panthers

The Panthers come into tonight’s match up looking for the ultimate revenge to the last meeting with Winnipeg that was a 7-0 defeat. That revenge of course is the chance to clinch a playoff spot and the Southeast Division with a win over the playoff-less Jets. Aside from the last meeting the Panthers have dominated the Jets with a 3-1-1 record against them so far and is the main reason the two teams sit where they do in the standings.

Kris Versteeg was out with an injury during that 7-0 loss and he has single handily beat the Jets all season long. He will be in the line up tonight and will attempt to add to his astronomical numbers against Winnipeg. Those of you with him on your fantasy squads had best start him tonight.

Jets

The Jets have their golf clubs ready but the team seems determined to finish strong and will get their first and only crack at playing spoiler tonight. A win against the Panthers will keep them from clinching the division and will set up a pivotal game between the Panthers and the Washington Capitals for the division title. The final two games for the Jets come against the Islanders and Lightning both of which have already been eliminated from post season contention.

The way the Jets come out and play tonight will be a good indicator for the future and the losing is not acceptable culture the team is trying to establish. It would be easy to pack it in especially after Tanner Glass and Kyle Wellwood have gone down with broken foots in consecutive games. Patrice Cormier got the call up to replace Wellwood and should end up centering the fourth line with Nik Antropov moving onto the wing to replace Wellwood.

Evander Kane has 3 games left to join an elite club of 14 other players that managed to score 30 goals before their 21st birthday. You can bet the rest of the Jets will be looking for him until he scores.

Keys to Victory

Stop Versteeg. If the Panthers beat the Jets tonight and Kris Versteeg is held off the score sheet, it should be counted as a moral victory.

Hit Versteeg. He can’t score of he’s on his butt, then again the way he’s played against the Jets maybe he can.

Fight Versteeg. If he’s in the penalty box he can’t score on you.

Ok so by now you got the theme the biggest key to a Winnipeg win will be finding a way to stop Kris Versteeg.

Injuries

Eric Fehr (Upper Body) – Questionable
Tanner Glass (Broken Foot) – Out Indefinitely
Kyle Wellwood (Broken Foot) – Out Indefinitely

Starting Goalies

Jets – Ondrej Pavelec (28-28-8, 2.88, .907) [Confirmed]
Panthers – Jose Theodore (22-15-10, 2.38, .920) [Confirmed]

Prediction

The Panthers have held the edge in the season series but the games and teams are very similar. Florida finds a way to win and tonight they will unfortunately do it once again and clinch the Division.
Winnipeg Jets 3 – Florida Panthers 4

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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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