JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ COLORADO

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (17-18-5) at Colorado Avalanche (23-11-3) 7:00 p.m., Pepsi Centre TV: TSN Jets, ALT, RDS2 Radio: TSN 1290

Two teams coming off very different results will square up in Colorado tonight  in a central division match up when the Winnipeg Jets visit the Colorado Avalanche. Winnipeg picked up a 6-4 win in a crazy game at the MTS Centre in their first game back from the Christmas break, while the Avs suffered a beating at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, going down 7-2. The Jets and Avs have had very competitive games this season, the last one in Winnipeg which resulted in a 4-3 shootout win for the visitors. They have had great games since the Jets returned to the league and this should be another one, Lets go!

Avalanche

Despite the loss to the Blackhawks, the Avalanche have proved many times this season that they can compete within the top few contenders in the league. Though the collapse has been predicted time and time again this season it has yet to come, the Avalanche continue to win game after game. The Avs are all about speed and offense, led by Matt Duchene. Duchene who at the start of the year was on nobodys olympic team, has played his way into the discussion, most experts have put him on the team at this point. The 22 year old has 16 goals this season, adding to his 18 points he is the undisputed offensive leader of the team. He changes games with one rush, one move, one shot, he is a lethal scorer. The rest of the forwards follow that lead, speed and big play potential is the M.O. for this team. If they can get you to participate in a track meet, they will run away with the game, and they have succeeded in that goal all year.

Jets

It was anything but pretty Friday night when Winnipeg welcomed in the Minnesota Wild. A 6-4 Jets win was well earned but there is much to improve moving ahead. The big change for the Jets comes in goal, Ondrej Pavelec is out for now as Al Montoya will start Sunday night and if he plays good you have to think he has a shot to earn a few consecutive starts. Montoya has been a solid back up all season, giving the Jets a good chance to win every night, and actually has better number than Ondrej Pavelec. The Jets need to build on a win soon or they will find themselves completely out of contention. Stringing wins together has been a struggle since this team moved to Winnipeg, win streaks are still something foreign to Jets fans. Winnipeg needs to come out tonight and make a statement against a good team in their division, if they are looking to go on a run now is the time.

Keys to the Game

Slow them down: No running and gunning, play tough, throw the body and slow the fast skating Avs down, do not get into a track meet.

Stay hot: Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane have been on an absolute tear the last few weeks, they are scoring at an unreal clip and it is exactly what the Jets need. As long as these guys keep filling the net the Jets can keep winning.

Help Al: Although Ondrej Pavelec was not great in his short time against Minnesota, he also got no help from the team around him. If the Jets want to avoid giving up some crooked numbers, they need to be solid and help their goalie.

Starting Goalies

Al Montoya (6-2-1) GAA: 2.14 SV% .923
Semyon Varlamov (16-8-3) GAA: 2.37 SV% .926

Injuries

Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Halischuk WPG, (arm) out
Clitsome WPG, (illness) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Avalanche: 3-4-3

Prediction

Make it 2 straight
Jets 4 Avalanche 2

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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!