JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ CHICAGO

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (24-24-5) at Chicago Black Hawks (32-9-12) 6:00 p.m., United Centre TV: TSNJets,Radio: TSN 1290

The Jets travel to Chicago Sunday night for the fourth and final meeting between these teams this season. It has been a very one sided rivalry so far as the Hawks have taken all three meetings by a combined score of 15-5. Add to that the Jets played less than 24 hours ago, and went to extra time in their win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. It doesn’t look good on paper for Winnipeg, however this team has a whole new attitude since Paul Maurice took over. The Jets will put up a fight at the Madhouse on Maddison, will it be enough to knock off the top team in the division? Lets Go!

Black Hawks

The Black Hawks have done exactly what everyone expected of them coming off last seasons cup win. They are once again one of the best teams in the league, still not even getting into double digits in losses. However Chicago is on a bit of a tough run here, with only 4 wins in their last 10 they will be looking to get back on track, especially as this is their last game on home ice until early March. Leading the Hawks will most likely be Patrick Kane, Kane has killed the Jets with 13 points in 8 games against their division rival. The Hawks need to take advantage of their abundance of skill as if they can fire on all cylinders, the Jets D cannot hold them, at least so far this season they haven’t been able to. This is a game Chicago probably should win, however they have been a little off track recently so anything can happen on this Sunday in Chicago.

Jets

It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a sixty minute effort, but the Jets managed to earn themselves two points and that is all that matters. Winnipeg came out hard and played a very strong first half of the game, building themselves a 4-1 lead over the Maple Leafs at the half way point of the game, it just as quickly went away and the Leafs got themselves within one before Phil Kessel tied it up with a minute and a half left. The goal was a long time coming as the Jets were hemmed into their own end for most of the third. Despite giving up the lead though they came out in overtime, forced the play and Dustin Byfuglien got the goal that gave the Jets the win. A quick turnaround has Winnipeg in Chicago tonight however, a team that has given the Jets problems, on a back to back, whihsn s just as big problems. Paul Maurice has his work cut out for him tonight trying to get the franchises first win against the Black Hawks since 2007.

Keys to the Game

Special teams: The Hawks are 4th in the league on the power play but 27th in the league on the penalty kill. The Jets must play strong on each side and they will have a chance.

Puck to the net: The Hawks rank first in the league in goals against per game, so the Jets will have to do some special things to get on the board. It doesn’t have to be pretty but they need to manage some offence.

Monty: Al Montoya should get the start and the load will fall on him to stop the high powered offence of the Black Hawks, if he is not great, the Jets will not win.

Starting Goalies

Al Montoya (8-4-1) GAA: 2.31 SV% .921
Corey Crawford (19-7-8) GAA: 2.49 SV% .910

Injuries

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

Keith CHI, (flu) day-to-day
Khabibulin CHI, (torn rotator cuff) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 5-5-0
Black Hawks: 4-2-4

Prediction

Hawks take advantage of tired Jets
Black Hawks 5 Jets 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!

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