Winnipeg Jets (14-15-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-15-4) 6:00 p.m., Nationwide Arena TV: TSN Jets, FS-O Radio: TSN 1290,
For only the second time ever the Jets and Blue Jackets will clash Monday night. The teams who have always played in seperate conferences, including this season when they both swapped, played once in the Jets first season back and have not met since. That game which took place almost 2 years ago was a real stinker however, so we can all hope both teams come out better tonight. Winnipeg and Columbus come in with almost exactly similar records but in very different situations. The Jackets are in 10th in the Eastern Conference, only 3 points back and with a game in hand. The Jets, who have one more point in the standings, are currently sitting in 12th, 10 points away from a playoff spot. The difference in conferences has never been more evident. Both teams look to get back on track though so tune in for what should be a very competitive game, Lets go!
The change of conference may have been the biggest improvement the Jackets have made in years. The team that seems to be a perennial disappointment is all of a sudden very much in the playoff race, and looks quite competitive against most of their Eastern conference foes. The Jackets are on a bit of a role lately, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 including most recently a 4-0 pounding of the Minnesota Wild. Columbus is no team to underestimate right now and you can bet they will come out gunning. The key to the success in Columbus is Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky was the breakout star in the league last season but has struggled this season so far gave way to Curtis McElhinney recently due to a groin injury. McElhineey however is now listed as day to day and the goaltending situation is up in the air heading into tonight. All the goalies who have played for the Jackets have put up decent numbers but consistency has been a problem, it will be something to watch Monday night.
Winnipeg played a very solid first 36 minutes or so against the Dallas Stars Saturday afternoon. Despite a few mental errors that were deposited into their net early they had played very even with the Dallas Stars and were looking like they would be tied heading to the third. However a major penalty to Anthony Peluso changed the course of the game as the Stars put two in on the PP before the end of the period and the game was all but over. Peluso received a 3 game suspension for the hit, the first suspension in Jets 2.0 history, so he will be out of the lineup Monday. Joining him on the sideline will be Matt Halischuk, who broke his arm on a blocked shot and will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery Sunday. It is not all bad news as the Jets appear to be getting Evander Kane back, he will join Mark Scheifele and Matt Halischuk on that line. Winnipeg needs to get back on track and quick, so look for them to come out and play with some urgency.
Urgency: The Jets cannot afford to continue to come out and look like tey don’t care for large parts of the game. They must come out hard from the opening face off and not let off the gas.
Road Warriors: Winnipeg has found some success on the road recently so keep it going and build some momentum before you come home.
Take advantage: This 2 game road trip pits the JEts against two teams that are out of the playoff picture in the much weaker Eastern Conference. They must take advantage of this trip and come back above .500.
Ondrej Pavelec (10-13-4) GAA: 2.85 SV% .909
Mike Mckenna (0-0-1) GAA: 3.00 SV% .898
Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Bogosian WPG, (lower body injury) out
Halischuk WPG, (arm) out
McElhinney CBJ, (lower body) day to day
Wisniewski CBJ, (upper body) out
Bobrovsky CBJ, (groin) out
Boll CBJ, (foot) out
Blue Jackets: 6-3-1
Jets back on track
Jets 4 Blue Jackets 1
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