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1st in East, 1st in Northeast
1st in East, 1st in Southeast
The 2013 NHL season starts Saturday with 13 games on the schedule.Winnipeg opens up their season with the Ottawa Senators visiting the MTS center. Last year Ottawa took 3 of the 4 meetings including both as the visiting team. Both teams will be looking to improve on their results of last season, and that, especially in the shortened season, starts right from game 1.
Last season Ottawa snuck into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31-10 record before being ousted by the New York Rangers in a hard fought 7 game series. The Sens saw a lot of turnover in the bottom of their depth chart during the off-season and will have to count on the top line of Spezza, Alfreddson and Michalek to carry the offensive load at least until some chemistry is formed with the rest of the lines. Although adding Mark Methot the blue line still appears a little thin so staying healthy will be a big key to the Senators this season.
Winnipeg finished last season with a record of 37-35-10, good for 11th place in the Eastern Conference. The Jets did not face many big changes over the summer, gone are Tanner Glass, Tim Stapleton and Chris Mason, who have been replaced by Olli Jokinen, Al Montoya and Alexei Ponikarovsky. The Jets will also have some younger faces in the lineup as Mark Scheifele and Paul Postma are all expected to play for the Jets. Winnipeg will need contributions from all around as their offensive game is still lacking. They will also need to be strong on the back-end, without Zach Bogosian Winnipeg will lean on Mark Stuart and Ron Hainsey for big minutes.
Keys to the Game
Special Teams: With the shortened training camp teams will have less time to get chemistry together so special teams become much more important and both teams will look for some offense with the extra man.
First Lines: Both teams get most offense from their top lines and struggle further down. Shutting down those top units will be a key and whichever team can do it should get the win
Home Crowd: Everyone knows the MTS center will be rockin’ so a huge factor will be how the Jets respond. In their first game last season Winnipeg seemed almost hypnotized by the crowd and got dominated by the Montreal Canadiens.Winnipeg will have to respond positively to the crowd this year if they want a different result.
Wpg: Ondrej Pavelec
Ott: Craig Anderson
Bogosian WPG, (Wrist) out
Antropov WPG, (Upper body) questionable
Miettenen WPG, (Upper body) out
Cowen OTT, (Hip) out
Lundin OTT, (Hand) questionable
Last 10 (W-L-OTL)
Winnipeg is propelled by the home crowd and comes out strong.
Wpg 5 Ott 2