JETSBLAST: WINNIPEG @ ST. LOUIS

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (27-26-5) at St. Louis Blues (38-12-6) 1:00 p.m., Scottrade Center,TV: TSNJets Radio: TSN 1290

Saturday afternoon marks the third meeting between the Central division rival Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues. The Blues have taken 5 of a possible 6 points winning 1 game in both Winnipeg and St. Louis, as well as taking a point in a shootout loss at the MTS Centre. St. Louis sits second in the Central, and third overall in the Western Conference coming into the last game before the Olympic break. The Jets meanwhile missed an opportunity to pull into a tie for the last playoff spot Thursday night, so they come in two back. Both teams will be looking to head into the break with a win so it is sure to be a hard fought game, Lets Go!

Blues

The St. Louis Blues are very quietly one of the best teams in the league. Over the past few years they may not get much press or front page coverage, but they win night after night and sit among the top teams in the league in the standings. Depending on a Chicago result Friday, this could be a first place game for the Blues as they are currently just a point back. The Blues have the best goal differential in the league, at +60. This team is strong in every position on every line, however they have had some problems with the Jets this season. All three games have been one goal games, including the first in St. Louis where the Blues got a goal in the final 2 minutes to get the win. Winnipeg has given this team hard fought close games every time out, and the Jets have been better recently so if the Blues aren’t all there, St. Louis could run into some trouble.

Jets

Winnipeg suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals Thursday where one thing seemed very clear. The Jets look tired, they could not skate with the Caps especially in the third period where having puck control seemed like a foreign concept. This break could not come at a better time for Winnipeg, they are suddenly streaking and back in the playoff picture, but a little rest, and the addition of Kane, Slater, and Halischuk, who will all return after the break can only help Winnipeg. Before that becomes a topic however the Jets have one last game in St. Louis against a team that has gotten a point in 7 straight against this franchise. One of the players who has benefited the most from the new coach Paul Maurice, is Dustin Byfuglien. Big Buff has made a very smooth transition to the front end, giving the Jets a whole other line that can generate offence, he also has the ability to step back and take a shift on D, whether it be on the PP or just an important time. Byfuglien is a key to this teams success, and though he has played well, the results have not always shown up on the scoresheet. The Jets need some of these chances to go in and St. Louis would be a perfect spot to start.

Keys to the Game

Stop Steen: Not only has he become a top scorer in the NHL this season but Alex Steen has points in 5 straight against the Winnipeg Jets. It will be important for the Jets to stop the sniper.

Energy: Winnipeg is on a tough road trip and looked tired in their last game. After this however they have a couple weeks off, so put it all on the table and give everything you’ve got.

Score: The Blues are great up front and get a lot of scoring support from their D. The Blues will score and it is important for the Jets to generate some offence of their own.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (17-22-4) GAA: 2.97 SV% .901
Jaroslav Halak (24-8-4) GAA: 2.26 SV% .915

Injuries

Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Halischuk WPG, (arm) out
Kane WPG, (infection) out

Sobotka, STL, (leg) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 7-3-0
Blues: 6-3-1

Prediction

Blues dominate play, take an easy two points
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!