Sunday night the Jets visit their closest geographical rival the Minnesota Wild. In just a few games since their return to the league the Jets and Wild have already developed a pretty exciting rivalry, both on the ice and in the crowd, where you are sure to find fans in the visiting arena. Both teams are hot so once again this one is up in the air. Depending on who shows up to play and can raise their levels will determine who will win. Jets and Wild on a Sunday night in Minnesota, here we go!
The Wild are on quite roll as of late and have quietly become one of the best teams in the league statictically. With only 4 regulation losses all year and just 1 in their last 10 the Wild have been unbelievable. In their 7 games in November so far the Wild have only given up 12 goals, and never more than 3 in a game their defence has been nothing short of stellar. Led by Zach Parise, 10 goals and 17 points already this year, and Jason Pominville who has already notched 12 goals (more than any Jets) the Wild also pack a scoring punch. The Wild will look to make it 4 in a row in Minnesota Sunday, and if they keep playing the way they have been they’ve got a pretty good chance.
Winnipeg has made a habit of tight games recently, however they are going the Jets way. The Jets have won 4 straight, the last 3 in shootouts, and look to equal a Jets record with a 5th straight win. Friday night the Jets took a 3-2 shootout win over Philadelphia home. Recently the Jets have shown the ability and the belief in themselves to come back in games, and falling behind has not been a big deal. The suddenly hot Dustin Byfuglien led Winnipeg Friday, scoring both goals, raising his total to three, and in the process he looks more like the defensemen we saw in the past couple years. As long as Byfuglien can maintain smart defensive play, the offense is nothing but an added bonus and it gives the Jets a good shot at winning.
Defense: The Jets lost a 25 minute per game defender in Friday when Zach Bogosian went down. Coach Noel has said it is not a day-to-day injury so they expect to lose him for the near future. In his place Zach Redmond will get his first start of the year and will need to be good, along with other defensemen who will be picking up the slack.
Change the trend: Last time these two teams met the Jets were embarassed, managing only 15 shots and never really having any pressure. Winnipeg needs to find a way to get past the Wild back end and make plays.
Make it 5: Easy to say, harder to do. Winnipeg has 4 straight and a fifth would continue the momentum. The Jets need to keep up the pace if they want to get into the playoff picture.
Ondrej Pavelec (8-7-2) GAA: 2.78 SV% .915
Josh Harding (11-2-2) GAA: 1.26 SV% .945
Trouba WPG, (neck) out
Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Stuart WPG, (hip) out
Bogosian WPG, (lower body injury) out
Backstrom MIN, (upper body) day-to-day
Ballard MIN, (upper body) out
Picking against the Jets has made me look bad last few games but have to do it again
Wild 5 Jets 2
Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.