JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ ST. LOUIS

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (41-26-12)  at St. Louis Blues (47-23-7) 7:00 p.m., Scottrade Center,
TV: TSN3 Radio: TSN 1290
Jets fans, if you thought last night was fun, and that rivalry was good, wait for tonight. While the Jets and Wild may dislike each other, the Jets and Blues pure hate each other. This will be the fifth meeting between the teams, and though the games have been as close as can be, the results show that the St. Louis Blues have been the better team. They have won three out of the four games, the only loss coming in a shootout March 19th in Winnipeg. Four of the five meetings between these teams have been played in the last month and a half, making it an incredibly heated rivalry. The Jets could use this win big time, while the Blues are still jostling for position, looking for home ice advantage. Jets and Blues, Lets Go!

Blues

The St. Louis Blues have been on a slight cold streak, winning only five of their last ten, however it has been enough to keep the Blues in the top spot in the Central division and just two points behind Anaheim with a game in hand for top spot in the Western Conference. Time after time I have sung the praises of the depth of this team, and nothing has changed, the Blues are a top contender in this league because they have four strong lines and an entire defensive core. The Blues will be hurt by a couple of absences Tuesday as both Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen, along with Robert Bortuzzo will all miss this game against the Jets. The Tarasenko and Steen absences really hurt the Blues offensively, Steen has a winner against the Jets this season and Tarasenko has absolutely killed them. This could make a big difference in how this game goes.

Jets

Two straight wins for the Jets has vaulted them back into a playoff spot, 1 point up on LA for the last spot right now, and everybody having played the same amount of games. That can end really quick though as Minnesota, Calgary, and LA are all in action tonight, a Jets loss could find them right back on the outside looking in, and with the quality of opponent the Kings and Flames play, it is a pretty likely situation. All that just spells out what the Jets already know and have known for the past week, win and you’re in, lose and you are done. Winnipeg has a tough test with the Blues, but the way they are playing, and the way they have played the Blues this season, they have a real chance. Ondrej Pavelec will get his second start in as many nights and much of this game will come down to him. The Jets may need Hutch to steal this game and if he cannot do it, the Jets may be in trouble tonight.

Keys to the Game

Play Physical: The Jets and Blues have played in some all out wars this year and with the playoffs right around the corner, this one will be just as rough if not rougher. The Jets need to put fatigue in the rear view mirror, come out hitting and be the team they really are.

Playoff Season: Everyone needs to give that much more this time of year. Pavelec will start again, although his numbers on back to backs are nothing but horrifying. Bryan Little, Ben Chariot, and countless others are playing through injuries, trying to just stay on their feet. Things change this time of year and the Jets need everybody to overcome their adversities and keep winning.

Scoreboard Watching: The Jets win last night was huge, not only did they pull ahead of both LA and Calgary, but also within 2 points of Minnesota, who has become a player again. Of the Four teams battling the Wild may have the toughest schedule, facing the Hawks, Blues, and Preds. The win also eliminated both the Stars and Sharks from playoff contention. It is a big night tonight, besides the Jets, Minnesota is in Chicago, the Flames take on the Coyotes while the Kings battle the Oilers.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (21-16-7) GAA: 2.39 SV% .917
Jake Allen (21-6-4) GAA: 2.36 SV% .910

Injuries

Clitsome, WPG, (Back) out for season
Postma, WPG, (LBI) day-to-day
Enstrom, WPG, (Undisclosed) day-to-day
Byfuglien, WPG, (Suspension) Serving game 3 of 4

Bortuzzo, MIN, (UBI) day-to-day
Tarasenko, MIN, (Leg) day-to-day
Steen, STL, (Knee) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 7-3-0
Blues: 5-3-2

Prediction

Jets play very well, but cannot overcome the back to back against the Blues.
Blues 3 Jets 1

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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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