Just over a week ago the Wings arrived at the MTS Centre and got everything they could handle and more from the young Jets, and to many peoples surprise they walked away with a 4-2 loss. The Jets played the type of game fans wish they could play every night, hard checking, fast skating, and tons of chances. Since that day the teams have walked different paths. The Wings have dropped two decisions in extra time, while the Winnipeg Jets have won two of three, and shown a lot in the process. This is the last meeting between these two teams this season so get ready for a good one.
The Red Wings, despite being on a 3 game losing streak, are still a team I think many NHL teams would just prefer to stay away from. Their offensive skill is well documented in NHL top 10 lists all season. This is a team that has many players that can step up and do it all by themselves, so Detroit is always a threat to score. On the other end, Jimmy Howard played very well in Winnipeg last week, despite walking away with a loss he held his team in the game with a number of stunning glove saves. Howard can be among the best in the game and his play is a key for the Wings every night. The Wings will be getting a huge boost as it appears Johan Franzen, who has been out of the lineup since November 1st with an undisclosed illness, will return. Franzen adds skill and size, he can play a finesse game or muck around in front of the net, he definitely adds another threat and is a big addition to this already stacked lineup.
Not to long ago the Jets were 3 games under .500 and everyone was moping around and dragging their feet in the city. Flash forward a few days and the Jets have won 3 of 4 including a enormous come from behind victory over a league powerhouse in the San Jose Sharks. 3 of 4 is nice but the Jets need to build on it and continue the momentum if they want to get into that playoff picture, a win over Detroit would go a long way. The Jets seem to have found their scoring touch lately, and a large chunk of it is coming from the back end. The defence that started so quiet offensivley has now begun to find the twine and get their name on the scoresheet. Of course when you discuss this subject the first name to come up is Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien is obviously the Jets most offensively skilled blue liner and he now has points in his last two and looks to be the player of old. The Jets need this production from their blue line but it is a tight rope to walk as they cannot allow themselves to lower their play in their own zone or get caught out of position. The Jets need their back end to be perfect in both ends of the ice to give them a good shot at winning every night.
Goalies: The man who wins the battle between the pipes today will be the man who gets two points. I think both teams will come out gunning and it will all depend on the masked men in the paint.
Score by committee: The Jets need to continue getting production from all 4 lines if they want to win tonight.
Evander Kane: Number 9 has had a quiet few games by his standards, look for him to get it going tonight and put in a goal or two
Ondrej Pavelec (6-7-2) GAA: 2.92 SV% .909
Jimmy Howard (5-5-4) GAA: 2.74 SV% .911
Trouba WPG, (neck) out
Slater WPG, (lower body) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Stuart WPG, (hip) out
Gustavsson DET, (neck) out
Ericsson DET, (dislocated shoulder) out
Coetzee DET, (undisclosed) out
Jensen DET, (torn labrum) out
Weiss DET, (groin) out
Smith DET, (shoulder) out
Red Wings: 3-3-4
Each team earn a point, Jets grab extra in overtime frame
Jets 3 Wings 2 O.T.
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