All season the St. Louis Blues have been one of the top contenders in the NHL, and are a very safe pick to make it to the end of this season. Now their position in the rankings matches that description, the Blues took over first place in the Central division a couple weeks ago and now find themselves second place in the entire league, 2 points behind Anaheim with 2 games in hand. The Blue right now may be considered the favorite for the Presidents trophy, and will be in the discussion for that same position for the Stanley Cup. The Blues are arguably the most complete team in the league, time after time their depth is discussed. They will try to keep pace with the other race horses tonight in Winnipeg, beating a team 4 games straight is never easy, but with two more meeting the Blues will not only look for 4 against Winnipeg, but possibly 5. What most teams don’t have at this time of the season is health, another plus to St. Louis, and another big advantage heading down the stretch.
A statement game for Winnipeg on Tuesday put the Jets on a 2 game win streak. The 5-2 dominant win over San Jose may have all but ended their season, and the Jets once gain find themselves in a playoff spot, ahead of both the Calgary Flames and L.A. Kings. Winnipeg will turn to Ondrej Pavelec for the third straight game tonight against St. Louis. Pavelec has earned everyone of his starts, playing very well in his last two and being a big reason the Jets have won the games. He will also be looking for revenge against the Blues. Last time he played them he came in the third period and played great before one of the biggest bloopers of the year taking place and costing the Jets a chance at that game. Now he will try to be the reason they get 2 points, not lose any. The Jets are once again without the services of Dustin Byfuglien, Bryan Little, or Matt Perreault. Little did skate with the team yesterday and is edging closer to a return. Perreault has skated but still by himself and does not look as close. Byfuglien who looked certain to return for the Jets last game seems to have hit a setback, and now his status moving forward is in question.
Home Magic: the Jets are 9-2-2 in their last 13 home games, and they play the majority of their remaining games at homes. The crowd and the MTS Centre has picked it up and it has shown with how the Jets are playing in front of them. This is the toughest test the Jets have faced, but they know the style and have played the Blues tough. Do it again and use your home ice advantage to finally slay this dragon. Get these two points!
Traffic: The Blues have won three straight, all on the road, and all by shutout. No one has been able to score goals or even really get into the scoring positions against this team. The Blues defense has been so tight and when they fail, the Blues goaltenders are just as good. Bryan Elliot, Jake Allan, it doesn’t matter, the Blues are not allowing goals. The Jets need to get to those dirty areas, bother the goalie, and find the rebounds, the Jets need to get these dirty goals if they’re going to win today.
Scoreboard Watching: The Kings lost an overtime game in Anaheim last night, leaving them 1 point behind Winnipeg, the same place Calgary sits. The Wild, Flames, Sharks are all in action along with the Jets tonight and there is the potential for all kinds of moving and shaking.
Ondrej Pavelec (15-14-7) GAA: 2.50 SV% .912
Bryan Elliot (24-11-2) GAA: 2.11 SV% .922
Clitsome, WPG, (Back) out for season
Perreault, WPG, (LBI) out
Byfuglien, WPG, (UBI) day-to-day
Little, WPG, (Undisclosed) out
Chiarot, WPG, (Broken Hand) out
Postma, WPG, (LBI) day-to-day
Michalek, STL, (Concussion) day-to-day
Shattenkirk, STL, (Abdominal Surgery) out
Jets put up a fight, but still cannot defeat the Dragon that is the Blues. A single overtime point is very valuable however.
Blues 3 Jets 2
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