JETBLAST: Game Day Preview Apr. 5/12 Jets at Islanders

(33-36-11) 77 points (37-34-9) 83 points

15th in East, 5th in Atlantic

10th in East, 3rd in Southeast

Islanders

The Islanders were eliminated from the playoffs just a game before the Jets but have dropped 3 straight to fall down to 14th in the East. They look to jump over the Maple Leafs and avoid giving Montreal the chance to climb out of the seller. A win though may not be what the management is hoping for as the Islanders could fall to 29th in the league if Montreal wins once and the Oilers win their final two games. Adding another young talented piece to compliment John Tavares and company is more important to this team long-term than a win against the Jets. That being said the players and coaches will only be trying to win and will look to take the edge in the season series that has seen the home team lose in the previous three games.

John Tavares sits 9th in the league in scoring with 79 points, his 31 goals was the first time he has had more than 30 in his three-year career and with only 4 points behind 4th overall and 4 points ahead of 16th Tavares will be looking to pad his stats to finish as high up as possible. Matt Moulson leads the Isles with 35 goals on the season and sits just 1 back of Alexander Ovechkin, who would have thought that could happen at the start of the season?

Jets

The Jets ensured that they would finish better in the league standings with their come from behind overtime win in Florida on Tuesday. A win tonight and a Tampa Bay loss in regulation or overtime will lock the Winnipeg Jets into a 21st place finish in the league and the 10th overall pick in this summers NHL Entry Draft. If the Jets were to lose both games and the teams below them win the lowest they could finish would be 23rd with Tampa and Carolina the two teams that can pass them still. The Jets hope to put all that to rest tonight with a win on Long Island against the New York Islanders.

The win will set up the meaningless game to end the season and should create a fun party atmosphere as the Jets fans get to say thanks to the team for a fun and exciting season that saw them in the thick of the playoff hunt until the final 3 games of the season. If the Jets win both games and Buffalo and Washington lose both their games the Jets would sit with 87 points leaving them 1 win out of the playoffs as both the Sabres and Caps sit with 88 points. Just imagine where this team would be sitting had they managed to go .500 in the second game of the back-to-back? Their road record though is the reason they sit outside looking in and they do have a chance to scrape together their 15th road win tonight which would put them just 2 shy of the 17 they managed their last season in Atlanta. The good news is the Jets are 37-34-9 on the season and are guaranteed to finish with a better record than last years 34-36-12. The win tonight will guarantee they finish with less regulation loses as well.

Keys to Victory

Shut down the top line. The top line of the Islanders is where the points come from and shutting them down will be key to winning the game as there is little to no depth scoring on this team.

Finish strong. The Jets proved to be a good spoiler against Florida, now with nothing but final placement on the line where losing may be more beneficial in terms of draft position the Jets have to finish strong and prove that the losing is not acceptable attitude is firmly in place.

Pressure. The Jets are a better team when they play intense tight hockey with sustained pressure in the attacking zone.

Luck. It never hurts to get a good bounce but at the end of the day you make your own luck by working hard and creating those good bounces.

Injuries

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

Starting Goalies

Jets – Chris Mason (8-6-1, 2.44, .904) [Confirmed]
Islanders – Al Montoya (8-10-5, 2.93, .899) {Confirmed]

Prediction

The Jets will be the hungrier team and the team that wants it more and will go home to try to end the season on a winning streak.

Winnipeg Jets 6 – New York Islanders 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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