Two teams that are sliding downhill and trying to do anything they can to grab on to something and stop the skid meet up in Winnipeg Wednesday night as the Winnipeg Jets welcome the Vancouver Canucks to the MTS Centre. If you think Jets fans have been suffering just look West at the problems of the Vancouver Canucks. With only 2 wins in their last 10 they have played themselves out of the playoff picture, and it appears the rebuild is just beginning. Things look to get a lot worse for Vancouver before they get better. Wednesday is a game the Jets should win, but those are the ones they seem to have trouble with most often. Jets and Canucks go at it in front of the nation on TSN, Lets Go!
For the second time in under a year the Canucks traded their number one goalie when they dealt Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers on trade deadline day. This leaves the load on the unproven Eddie Lack, and it has not started well. Jets will be familiar with Lack from his days with the Manitoba Moose, but don’t expect to much love for the goaltender in the MTS Centre. In the 3 games since last Wednesdays trade dealine the Canucks are 1-2, giving up 13 goals in those two losses. On Monday the season reached a new low for Vancouver in their matchup with the New York Islanders. Heading into the third period the Canucks had a 3-0 lead and all looked good, until the under-maned Islanders put up 7 goals in the third period. It was definitely a low spot for the Canucks this season, and it appears there will be many more, the rebuild is on in Vancouver as their Stanley Cup window is closed. That leads to a new motivation however as many players on this team are now playing for their jobs and futures, keeping the Canucks as a dangerous team that you cannot take too lightly.
Make it four straight losses for the Jets as they suffered a 3-2 loss in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. It was a step up for Winnipeg as they played pretty well and got a single point out of one of the better teams in the Western Conference, but at this point a single point is not nearly enough. Wednesdays game starts a string of 4 of the next 5 games at home, including a match up with the Dallas Stars. The Jets need to go on a run here and there is no better time than now with the home crowd behind you. The biggest question heading into Wednesdays game is once again, who is in the crease. Al Montoya played very well in Colorado and appeared at least in the fans eyes to earn another start, however Paul Maurice has been strongly behind Ondrej Pavelec since he came to town and it is clear the organization wants to ride their number one goalie.
Keep the Canucks in the rearview: Despite a run of just 2 wins in 10 for Vancouver they are tied with the Jets in the standings, although they have played an extra game. If the Jets want any chance they cannot afford another team being in front of them, it may be the final nail in the coffin.
Generate offense: The Jets have not managed more than 3 goals in a game since their last meeting with Vancouver on January 31, a span of 10 games. In those games they are averaging 2.3 goals per game, it is not enough, the Jets need more goals quite simply.
Power play: Same story different chapter, this team is not getting enough from their time with the man advantage. This is one of the reasons the goals have been hard to come by for Winnipeg, they need to take advantage when they have the chance.
Ondrej Pavelec (20-24-5) GAA: 2.98 SV% .902 or Al Montoya (10-4-3) GAA: 2.17 SV% .926
Eddie Lack (10-12-4) GAA: 2.30 SV% .916
Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Albert WPG, (unknown) day-to-day
D. Sedin VAN, (lower body) out
Santorelli VAN, (torn labrum) out
Alberts VAN, (concussion) out
Jets get back in the win column against struggling Canucks
Jets 3 Canucks 2
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