Two teams who have struggled as of late meet in Winnipeg with huge consequences as the Buffalo Sabres come to town to visit the Winnipeg Jets. Though neither team is in any way out of it, both need to be spectacular and get some help if they want to make the post season dance. Both teams are coming off a win and a couple of days rest so there will be no excuses for either team and we should see a highly competitive match up.
Buffalo has been a disappointment this season and there is no other way to describe it. The day after these teams last meeting Sabres then coach Lindey Ruff was fired, but the change has not really helped Buffalo in the standings. Buffalo is a team that will go much in the same direction as their goalie. Ryan Miller is still one of the best goalies on the planet, the Olympic silver medalist has struggled at times this season but when he shows up to play he can steal a game.
Winnipeg comes off a huge win over the Flyers where on the back of 4 2nd period goals the Jets defeated Philadelphia 4-1. A very strong game and hopefully one the Jets can build off as all facets of their game worked well. A huge bright spot was the PK for the Jets as they were perfect man down, against one of the top teams in the league on the power play. Coming in to this game, as the rest this season will be it is another must win for the Jets. They can no longer afford the loss of 2 points, especially when they are playing a team under them in the standings.
Opportunity: With the Capitals and Hurricanes meeting the Canadiens and Penguins respectively this may be Winnipeg’s best chance to gain two points on both teams that they need to pass in the next couple weeks. Though they can do nothing to control what happens in those games, they must do their part and get 2 over Buffalo.
Bother Miller: Ryan Miller is the key to the Sabres team. The Jets must get to the crease and make him uncomfortable. Winnipeg fans have been known to get on Miller and if the JEts can give them a reason you know the boisterous crowd would love to taunt him again.
Captain Ladd: Andrew Ladd was a super hero for this team carrying the offensive load for much of the year. However, as of late Ladd has slowed down and has now gone a week without a goal. Winnipeg needs their captain, as well as the entire top line, to pick it up and earn them the win.
Ondrej Pavelec (16-18-2) GAA: 2.84 SV% .904
Ryan Miller (12-15-5) GAA: 2.83 SV% .912
Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Slater WPG, (Upper Body) out
Antropov WPG, (Lower Body) out
Leino BUF, (Upper Body) questionable
Vanek BUF, (Upper Body) questionable
Sulzer BUF, (Knee) out
Jets play simple hard-hitting game, pick up win
Jets 3 Sabres 1