JETBLAST: LOS ANGELES @ WINNIPEG

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JETBLAST

 Los Angeles Kings (35-22-6) at Winnipeg Jets (30-27-6) 6:00 p.m., MTS Centre, TV: CBC Radio: TSN 1290

The day after the trade deadline two teams that took two different paths meet up at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Winnipeg Jets. Another trade deadline came and went for Winnipeg whose only action was to lock up veteran defenseman Mark Stuart to a 4 year, 10.5 million dollar contract. The Kings on the other hand made a huge splash acquiring veteran winger Marian Gaborik for their push to the playoffs. Though the Kings currently sit 6th in the West nobody will count them out as still a possible contender in the West. Jets and Kings go at it on CBC, Lets Go!

Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are among the class of the Western Conference, just a couple years off a Stanley Cup run much of the core remains and with the addition of Marian Gaborik, the Kings hope to add a scoring punch that can sometimes be lacking. Scoring however is the only piece this team is missing at times, their defence, led by Drew Doughty, is a strong, hard nosed unit that makes games hard, and getting to the net even harder. If you do make it to the net you have one of the best in the world, Jonathan Quick waiting for you. Teams don’t get many chances against the Kings and the chances they do get are often eaten up by Quick. The Kings provide a big test and a measuring stick for the Winnipeg Jets, who still fight to earn a spot. While LA is virtually guaranteed a spot, they still have much to play for, currently sitting in 6th they look to climb up the standing in the last couple months of the season.

Jets

A poor performance in key games was a plague that was all over this team the last couple years. Since Paul Maurice has arrived however that particular ailment seemed to have gone away, that is before Tuesdays 3-2 stinker loss vs the New York Islanders. Maurice said the teams had was in it but just couldn’t get it going on the ice and may have just over thought the moment. Hopefully that is past though as now the Jets find themselves with an even harder task in front of them, the Los Angeles Kings. The Jets will have to take on this challenge without the services of Mark Scheifele who left the Islanders game after being taken out by Calvin De Haan. The prognosis, 6-8 weeks with a sprained MCL, does not look good for Scheifele. The team needs to rally and pick up their play to make up for the loss of their number 2 centre, and a Calder trophy candidate.  It just gets harder for the Jets who are still in a dogfight for the last playoff spot, no better time than the present to get on a role and earn some points.

Keys to the Game

Middle of the Ice: The Jets suffered a blow losing their number two centre for at least a month more likely 2 last game. The load will fall to the guys behind him, Olli Joikenen and Jim Slater will move up most likely and their play will be key to the Jets success or failure.

Keep putting points on the board: Though the Jets desperately needed those two points vs New York all was not last as the Dallas Stars who currently sit in 8th lost their game leaving the Jets only a point back. There are obstacles and the Jets could use some help but their future is still in their own hands.

More Offence, again!:Though they raised their shot totals, Winnipeg did not manage enough against the Islanders and could only put two on the board. Thursday will be a harder task with the amount of skill on the Kings back end, however if the Jets want two points they need to generate more.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (20-23-4) GAA: 2.90 SV% .904
Jonathan Quick (19-13-5) GAA: 2.05 SV% .916

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Tangredi WPG, (unknown) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 6-2-2
Kings: 6-4-0

Prediction

Kings to much for Jets, LA dominates.
Kings 5 Jets 2

Become an MVP

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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!