Winnipeg and Toronto meet tonight at the MTS center each trying to earn their 2nd straight victory. Last season the teams split their 4 meetings, 3 of them being within one goal. Both teams come in with somewhat disappointing .500 records which they will be trying to improve. Special teams will play a huge role as Toronto has struggled terribly on the power play and Winnipeg on the penalty kill, so something will have to give.
Manitoba native James Reimer will get the start for Toronto, he has been very inconsistent so far this season. While he has kept the Leafs in some games he has also cost them points. Toronto is led by off season acquisition James Van Riemsdyk who has already notched 6 goals this season. Phil Kessel has drawn much criticism having not been able to find the goal column yet. However, he has played relatively well and created chances, notching two assists in their win over Washington Tuesday night.
It was nothing to write home about but Winnipeg will take the overtime win they got Tuesday night and try to build off of it. Though not playing particularly well Bryan Little scored in the final minute of overtime right at the end of a very unsuccessful power play that saw the Jets get booed by the home crowd before Littles impressive shot beat Scott Clemmensen. Winnipeg will need to be better if they want to beat the Maple Leafs especially in their own zone where they have been giving up to many chances.
Keys to the Game
Goaltending: Pavelec vs. Reimer, two goaltenders who have struggled at times this season and need to be better for their teams. Whichever can play up to potential will give their teams a big boost not just tonight but throughout the season.
Special Teams: Simple and obvious but Winnipeg has had problems on both sides of their special teams and need to be better. The struggles of the Leafs PP may be just the ticket that Winnipegs penalty kill needs to get off the slump.
Shoot the Puck!: Winnipeg has had a tendency to overpass early in the season especially on the power play. This team is best when the puck gets on the net with some traffic. Look for Winnipeg to test Reimer from all over and look for rebounds and second chance opportunities.
Ondrej Pavelec (2-1-1) GAA: 2.20 SV% .932
James Reimer (3-3-0) GAA: 2.71 SV% .917
Byfuglien WPG, (Lower Body) Questionable
Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) out
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Gunnarsson TOR, (Hip) Questionable
Brown TOR, (Shoulder) out
Lupul TOR, (Arm) out
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Maple Leafs: 5-5-0
Jets find their touch around the net
Jets 6 Leafs 3