Winnipeg Jets (20-23-5) at Calgary Flames (16-25-6) 8:00 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome TV: TSNJets, SNet W Radio: TSN 1290
Winnipeg and their new coach travel for the first time for their second meeting of the year with the Calgary Flames. The first meeting was not a night the Jets were proud of, fighting from behind all night to eventually send the game to extra time where they lost. The Jets were terrible in half the rink that night and were very fortunate to even get a single point. Boy have the times changed in Winnipeg however, new coach, new lines, and a whole new mindset make this game very interesting, Lets go!
The Calgary Flames are one of the few teams with a worse record than the Jets in the Western Conference. The Flames however are very clearly in a rebuilding situation, and are not expected to win. This lack of pressure may have been good for this young team though, they find a way to compete on most nights and have even beaten some of the top teams in the league. The Flames are not a team you can just brush off and expect a win. The few veterans that the Flames do have have done a good job this season in setting the example and carrying the team on their backs. Jiri Hudler, who is in his first season with Calgary after coming over from the Wings in the offseason leads them in scoring with 12 goals and 27 assists, and hurt the Jets in their last meeting. The back end all runs through captain Mark Girordano. Giordano has grown to be a rock steady defenseman, and carries the majority of the load for this team. The Flames have lost 4 of their last 5, and only have 5 goals in that time so you can bet they will be trying to get back on track in front of the home crowd.
How about that start for Paul Maurice, not much could have gone better for the Jets in the new coaches debut. A 5-a win in front of the home crowd against the franchise that was formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg got offensive production from all over the map and for the most part played a solid defensive game. The brightest spot for the Jets coming off Mondays victory was Devin Setoguchi. Setoguchi had possibly his best game of the year and even got some production on the score sheet with a 3rd period powerplay goal. Thursday we have a chance to find out if the win was a fluke or if the Jets have a new found sense of confidence. Winnipeg will come into this game as the more skilled team but if they do not play up to their potential the Flames will be more than capable of shocking them again.
Health: The Jets are still short a few guys who have spent time on the IR, Evander Kane will not travel with the team and may be out a while and Devin Setoguchi missed practice and will be a game time decision Thursday night. How the Jets respond to these changes will go a far way to deciding this game.
New Systems?: Paul Maurice finally got a couple days of practice with his team and it will be interesting to see how he decides to play. Does he attempt to shake things up or does he leave things status quo?
Start a run: After a 5 game losing streak Winnipeg got back on track with the win Monday. Keep it going, one win will not get them back in the hunt but if they can make a run here they could give it a shot.
Ondrej Pavelec (12-19-4) GAA: 3.08 SV% .899
Reto Berra (5-13-2) GAA: 3.03 SV% .899
Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Halischuk WPG, (arm) out
Clitsome WPG, (illness) out
Kane WPG, (hand) out
D. Jones CGY, (eye) day-to-day
Russell CGY, (MCL) out
Glencross CGY, (high ankle sprain) out
B. Jones CGY, (meniscal tear) out
No doubt, make the new coach 2-0
Jets 4 Flames 2
Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.