JETBLAST: CHICAGO @ WINNIPEG

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JETBLAST - Chicago Blackhawks
JETBLAST - Winnipeg Jets

JETBLAST

Chicago Blackhawks (8-2-3) at Winnipeg Jets (5-7-2)

2:00 p.m., MTS Center TV: TSNJets, FS-MW Radio: TSN 1290, WGN 720

Winnipeg finally plays the last of their new Central division rivals when the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks come to town. It is sure to be an exciting night with the homecoming of Jonothan Toews and the visit of one of the best teams in the league. It is bound to be a challenge for the Jets, however they do have the trend of playing up to their opponents which means this could be a very exciting game. It’s the first game of the day and start of a triple header on CBC, so get some snacks and put your feet up, this one should be a dandy.

Blackhawks

The Hawks have picked up right where they left off last season. If not for the amazing start of the Colorado Avalanche the Hawks would once again be the top of the division. With that being said everyone knows it is likely this team will keep up their current pace and finish at the top of the conference once again. Chicago is coming off a 6-5 win in Ottawa and have only 1 regulation loss in their last 10. Led obviously by captain Jonothan Toews who is a lock for the Canadian Olympic team, and has raised his play to be one of the best players in the league today. Scoring a hat trick in the game against the Senators he now has 7 goals and 6 helpers this season. With names like; Kane, Sharp, Saad, and Hossa the offence is great, and with Seabrook, Keith, Leddy and the rest of the D in front of Olympic hopeful Corey Crawford this team is scary good on paper and a huge test for the Jets.

Jets

Another game and another really strong performance for the Jets in St. Louis. However a strong performance means nothing when it doesn’t translate to a win. If not for a badly timed penalty and a bit of a third period collapse things may have been different, but it was not to be for the young Winnipeg team. They again struggled for offence and although for the most part they played a strong defensive game, they made mistakes which ended up in their own net. The Jets are hoping their home crowd can help raise their level of play and they can get to the Hawks. The Hawks pose some tough challenges for the Jets. Not only are they a tough checking team, they play solid defence and they are one of the most offensivley talented teams in the league. The Jets need to be perfect, it is their only chance.

Keys to the Game

Scheifele: The play of the first ever Winnipeg Jets draft pick has been argued about at water coolers all over the city. No matter your opinion, it is a fact that the young star has not been producing statistically. The talk has begun that his time may be better spent in the AHL, Scheifele obviously wants to avoid that so he will need to begin producing, for himself as well as for the team.

Play smart: The Jets have made huge strides in their own zone but it is the big mistake that has cost them. On display last game was the terribly timed penalty by Tobi Enstrom which led to the Blues winning goal. The Jets need to play smarter and avoid the huge mistakes.

Use the Crowd: The crowd will be going nuts with everything going on and the Jets must harness the energy if they would like to win.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (4-5-2) GAA: 2.87 SV% .909
Corey Crawford (7-2-2) GAA: 2.23 SV% .916

Injuries

Trouba WPG, (neck) out
Slater WPG, (lower body) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out

Rosival CHI, (upper body) day-to-day
Handzsus CHI, (upper body) day-to-day
Mills CHI, (lower body) day-to-day
Kostka CHI, (lower body) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 3-5-2
Blackhawks: 7-1-2

Prediction

Jets put up a fight but the Hawks are to strong
Blackhawks 4 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!

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