JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ COLORADO

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JETBLAST - Colorado Avalanche
JETBLAST - Winnipeg Jets

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (5-5-2) at Colorado Avalanche (9-1-0)

7:00 p.m., Pepsi Center TV: TSNJets, Altitude Radio: TSN 1290, KCKK 1510AM,

Winnipeg travels to Colorado for their second game in as many nights, as well as the third game in their four game Central division road trip. This will be another new rivalry for the Jets and their move to the Western Conference, their last meeting was near two years ago, back in the first Jets season. The teams have gone in opposite directions, Winnipeg has been right on expectations, struggling to get their points in every game. On the other hand however, the Avs have completeley exceeded everyones expectations. Winning 9 of their first 10 games and being near the top of most NHL statistics. This will be an interesting match up, and a fun new rivalry this season.

Avalanche

Colorado, who many expected to battle with Winnipeg for the basement spot in the Central, instead, the Avs are battling for the league lead. To the shock of most hockey teams this team has been near unbeatable, and though critics point out weak spots and predict that the rate of play can not continue, the Avs have yet to fold and instead just pile up wins. The main reason Colorado has been so good is the play of their goaltenders, both J.S. Giguere, and Semyon Varlamov. No matter who is in net, they have been almost unbeatable. It’s one thing to not allow goals, but when you are also scoring goals it is a lethal combination. The young stars on the Avs have carried them, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Ryan O’Reilly to name a few, have been scoring nearly at will. This team looks to be a challenge every night it steps on the ice, and if they can continue to pile up the wins, they will start to convince people they are a legitimate threat.

Jets

Winnipegs is back to .500 after a 2-1 shootout win over the Dallas Stars. Saturday nights game was one of the bright spots on this Jets season so far. They played very well in all 3 zones and if not for a small breakdown they would have shutout the Stars and been relativly dominant performance. Once again, as is becoming a trend, Evander Kane was the best player on the ice despite playing with an upper body injury. Kane brings it all to the Jets, speed, hits and goals, getting his team leading 6th Saturday, and building on his team lead in shots and hits. Jets fans are finally seeing what they expected to from Kane as he has been earning his big contract and growing into a leadership role. The Jets have been good so far on this road trip, earning 3 of 4 points and will look to continue building on that Sunday in Denver.

Keys to the Game

Take out the top dog!: If the Jets want to make the playoffs they need to be good against their own division, and right at the top of that division are the Colorado Avalanche. If the Jets can perform well, maybe even get a W they will make a huge statement.

Good team D: Jets need to be good defensivley or Colorado will run all over them. There is to much skill in the Avs lineup to make any mistakes. A slow back check or bad pinch will end up in your own net, the whole team must play nearly perfect to avoid seeing a big number on the scoreboard.

Special Teams: Easy enough here, if you get a chance on the power play, score. If you find yourself on a penalty kill play your positions perfect, block shots and be smart.

Starting Goalies

Al Montoya (1-0-0) GAA: 0.00 SV% 1.00
Semyon Varlamov (3-1-0) GAA: 1.41 SV% .956

Injuries

Trouba WPG, (neck) out
Thorburn WPG, (undisclosed) day-to-day
Slater WPG, (lower body) out

van der Gulik COL, (undisclosed) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 3-5-2
Avalanche: 9-1-0

Prediction

Avs continue strong play, blow by Jets
Avalanche 6 Jets 1

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Diehard Winnipeg sports fan. Agree or disagree with something I wrote? Find me on twitter @seantheoilcan and let me know Go Jets Go!