JETBLAST: CAROLINA @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST - Carolina Hurricanes
JETBLAST - Winnipeg Jets

JETBLAST

Carolina Hurricanes (17-22-3) at Winnipeg Jets (22-19-2)

7:00 p.m., MTS Centre

TV: TSN Jets, FS-CR Radio: TSN 1290, 99.9 The Fan

Winnipeg continues their push for the playoffs Thursday night when they play their 5th straight home game, hosting the Carolina Hurricanes. The Jets drew themselves into a tie for eighth place with the New York Rangers Tuesday but sill have some work to do if they hope to punch their ticket. On the other side of the coin the Carolina Hurricanes who led the Southeast for the majority of the season have now fallen completely out of the playoff picture and will look to play spoiler Thursday night. As the Jets saw Tuesday that does not mean an easy game and this should prove to be a fight for the 2 points.

Hurricanes

The Hurricanes collapse this season started with the loss of not only Cam Ward their number one goaltender, but also number two on the depth chart. That, combined with a few other key injuries really killed the Hurricanes season as they could not fight through and despite a hot start have fallen out of the race. The Canes remain dangerous however, especially on the front end. With the Staal brothers anchoring the center position and the likes of Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner on the wings Carolina can put the puck in the net. Jeff Skinner will be a question mark going in however as he left Tuesdays game with an apparent upper body injury and it is unclear what his status will be for the game against Winnipeg.

Jets

Same story different chapter for Winnipeg on Thursday. The Jets once again basically need to win if they want to stay alive and once again will look for some help around the league with both New York teams as well as Ottawa and Washington all in action. Winnipeg must take care of themselves first at that means continuing their strong home play and getting the two points for themselves. Winnipeg has played very strong recently and added a new wrinkle to their game Tuesday as their fourth line which at times this year has barely seen the ice during a game, played a huge amount of minutes and were very effective. The line made up of Alex Burmistrov, Eric Tangradi and Mike Santorelli must continue this play as when they can log solid minutes and create some offense they take a lot of pressure and attention off the big guys and can be a big advantage to the game.

Keys to the Game

Stop Staal: Eric has been hot lately. With a goal and an assist Tuesday in Ottawa Staal extended his point streak to four games and if he is playing well the Canes become a very dangerous team.

Captain: Andrew Ladd has been this teams leader both on and off the ice all season. He has been scoring like a first liner and bona fide number one scoring option which the Jets need if they want this push to be successful.

Ugly goals: They don’t need to be pretty. Get to the net bother the goaltender and find rebounds.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (19-18-2) GAA: 2.75 SV% .906
Justin Peters (4-9-0) GAA: 2.94 SV% .905

Injuries

Redmond WPG, (Thigh Laceration) out
Peluso WPG, (Hand) out
Slater WPG, (Upper Body) out
Antropov WPG, (Lower Body) out
Enstyom WPG, (Mid-Body) out

Wallace CAR, (Upper Body) unknown
Brent CAR, (Lower Body) unknown
Bowman CAR, (Lower Body) unknown
Pitkanen CAR, (Broken Heel) out
Ward CAR, (MCL) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 5-5-0
Hurricanes: 2-8-0

Prediction

Home Crowd carries Jets to tough win
Jets 3 Hurricanes 2

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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!