The Jets are 2-0, Trouba is an early season phenomenon, Scheifele looks to finally be an NHL player, Ducks come in after playing last night, all of these seem like very suitable story line for tomorrow nights match up in between Winnipeg and Anaheim, but in the eyes of many, there is only one real story tomorrow night. When the puck is dropped at the MTS Center it will mark Teemu Selannes’ final appearance in a town that loves him so much. The Ducks have not visited Winnipeg in nearly two years and for fans that were in the arena on that night, it was a truly special experience and this should prove to be no different.
For the second game in a row the visitors will come into Winnipeg the night after a highly emotional extra time win in Minnesota. Anaheim gave up a lead in the third but ended up scoring a big goal in overtime and getting the win 4-3 over the Wild. Tonights game will not just be any other road game for the Ducks however as the loudest cheers will likely come for one of their players. The emotion will be immense in the building and how the teams respond will go a long way to deciding the game. For the Ducks not much has changed over the last few years. They will once again be anchored by their two stars, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. As these two highly skilled offensive players go, as will the teams fortunes.
In their first two games the Winnipeg Jets have won their first season opener, as well as their first home opener. However, if the Jets thought those games were emotional they have seen nothing yet. This looks to be one of the loudest and most passionate crowds that have ever been in the MTS Center. Winnipeg fans were circling this game in their calendars since the schedules were announced and fighting over these tickets. The Jets must try to focus on the challenge at hand, so far this season they have had success and they definitely have a chance to continue. With the line of Kane, Setoguchi, and Scheifele finally providing the Jets with a secondary scoring threat, as well as the bottom 6 getting involved offensively, this is the best Jets team we have seen in the 3 years in Winnipeg. With the emerging play of youngster Jacob Trouba, who has led the team in minutes through two games, Winnipeg looks tougher on the back end.
Take Advantage: As I wrote with Fridays game against Los Angeles, once again this will be Anaheims second game in as many nights. With the Ducks not getting into town until late and all kinds of distractions surrounding the team Anaheim looks to be a team that is ripe for the pickings. Winnipeg needs to jump all over the Ducks, play physical and play fast.
Manage emotions: The environment will be electric and there will be distractions for both teams all day. There are sure to be many standing ovations and some sort of in game tribute. The team that can stay calm and play a smart game will go a long way to winning the game.
Teemu Selanne: Is this really a key to the game? No, probably not, however I felt I needed to take an extra minute to talk about the Finnish Flash. The young man who made his debut in Winnipeg scoring 76 goals in his rookie season played the better part of 4 seasons for the Jets and was an immediate fan favourite. A former Calder trophy winner, 10 time NHL all star, Richard Trophy winner, Masterson Trophy winner, two time Olympic Bronze Medalist, as well as a Stanley Cup Champion with Anaheim in 2007. Selanne holds many franchise records both with the original Winnipeg Jets as well as the Anaheim Ducks. He hold the records for both goals scored as a rookie as well as points recorded, as well as being the all time Winter Olympics Points leader, and he is among the greatest foreign players to ever play in the NHL.
Ondrej Pavelec (2-0-0) GAA: 3.50 SV% .905
(Undecided) Viktor Fasth (0-1-0) GAA: 6.00 SV% .793 or Jonas Hiller (1-0-0) GAA: 2.81 SV%: .909
Clitsome WPG, Out
Etem ANA, (Lower Body) out
Sbisa ANA (Ankle) out
O’Brien ANA (Unknown) out
Souray ANA (Wrist) out
Los Angeles: 1-1-0
Jets ride wave of emotion to third straight
Jets 6 Ducks 4