Winnipeg ends its two game home stand tonight when the New York Islanders visit the MTS center. Although Winnipeg would seem to have the edge in talent as a team, New York has given the Jets some problems and frustrated Winnipegers. New York won 3 of the 4 contests between the teams last year and seemed to bring the worst out in the Jets.
New York is coming in following a 4-2 loss in Boston. New York played a good road game but was hurt after taking a couple bad penalties that seemed to shift momentum. The Islanders are still a young team that most don’t think will contend for a playoff spot but they do have plenty of offensive talent that can hurt you if you give them chances. This is not a team that can be taken lightly or, as they did to Winnipeg last year they may suprise you.
Winnipeg is on a role, following the dominating win in Washington the Jets came out on their home ice and after falling behind early played two great periods and doubled up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. The offence seems to have found its stride, powered by Evander Kane who is earning every dollar or his contract so far, and the defece has stepped up big and includes all 5 players playing solid team defence. That defence will be playing in front of Al Montoya for the first time as he gets his first start as a Jet against the team who let him go over the summer. Last season Winnipeg often fell victim to lesser teams and played down to their level. This is something that needs to be corrected if Winnipeg has playoff aspirations and tonight is their first test.
Keys to the Game
Energy: After two huge wins and riding a wave of emotion after the great come from behind victory over Pittsburgh Winnipeg can not afford to come out flat or overlook this New York Islanders team. There is enough skill that if Winnipeg doesn’t bring their A game they could end up on the wrong side of the score sheet
Discipline: Winnipeg has been one of the most disciplined teams in the league and it has been key to their success. New York is not a top notch team that will create a ton of chances even strength so if Winnipeg can stay out of the box they will limit a lot of the possible Islanders offence.
Secondary Scoring: Although getting good offence out of the back end and obviously the duo of Kane and Wheeler there are still many Jets struggling to find the scoresheet. Joikenen, Burmistrov, Antropov, Ponikarovsky and Wellwood are still pointless. Winnipeg requires scoring from these secondary places if they want success this year.
Al Montoya (0-0-0) GAA: 0.00 SV% 0 Evgeni Nabokov (2-1-0) GAA: 3.02 SV%: .907
Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) out Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Jesse Joensuu NYI, (Groin) questionable Josh Bailey NYI, (Knee) questionable
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Jets: 2-1-1 Islanders: 2-2-0
Jets come out hard and play a full 60
Jets 5 Islanders 3