WINNIPEG (3-1-1) at Montreal (3-1-0)
Winnipeg starts a three game road trip tonight when they visit the surprising Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night. Montreal has been much better than anyone expected, off to a 3-1 start, and will offer quite a challenge to this Winnipeg Jets club. Everyone remembers the first time these two teams played last year. That magical night started Winnipegs journey in the NHL. Unfortunately for the home crowd Montreal came out and thoroughly dominated the new Jets franchise. Throughout the season Montreal continued their dominance taking 3 of the 4 match up between the teams.
Montreal is a team that no one expected to be strong this year but has been unbeatable since their season opening loss to Toronto. Montreal has been carried by their power play thus far. Of the 13 total goals the Canadiens have scored 6 of them have been on the power play and 4 have come off the stick of Andrei Markov. Carey Price has started all 4 Canadiens games and has been nothing short of amazing between the pipes. Montreal signed star defenseman P.K. Subban Monday night and it is unclear his status but one would suspect he would make his season debut against Winnipeg
Winnipeg has shown unbelievable resiliency recently, winning after trailing by two goals in 2 straight games. They have also given up the first goal in each of their three wins, while going winless in the games that they have opened the scoring, not something to count on however. The Jets can not afford the types of collapses they showed early in the third Sunday however. Giving up 3 goals before the halfway point Winnipeg can not count on their offence to come back like that on a consistent basis. One positive to take out of Sundays game was the secondary scoring, Alex Burmistrov, BryanLittle and Alexei Ponikarovsky all notched their first goals of the year and that scoring from the second and third lines of the Jets is key to their success.
Keys to the Game
Evander Kane: Kane has been the biggest reason for the Jets early success. Scoring a goal and an assist in 3 straight games and playing a very solid defensive game Evander Kane is earning every cent of that big contract he signed at the end of last season. Kane is this teams one top-level goal scorer and he needs to stay consistent to continue the Jets success.
Discipline: A consistent key for Winnipeg is staying out of the box and so far they have been very successful. This will again be a key tonight as Montreals powerplay is much of their offence. Take away their opportunities and you take a big step towards a victory.
Traffic: Carey Price has been great for Montreal, being near unbeatable the first four games of the season. Winnipeg will need to generate traffic and rebound chances if they want to get some scoring.
Ondrej Pavelec (2-1-1) GAA: 2.20 SV% .932
Carey Price (3-1-0) GAA: 1.73 SV%: .936
Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) out
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Pacioretty MTL, (Appendectomy) questionable
Palushaj MTL, (Shoulder) out
Nokelainen MTL, (Back) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Jets play a tough road game but can’t manage enough offence
Canadiens 3 Jets 1