JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ CALGARY

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JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (36-35-12) at Calgary Flames (35-38-7) 8:00 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome TV: TSNJets, S-NET W Radio:TSN 1290

The Winnipeg Jets take the ice for the final time in the 2013/2014 NHL season. Both them and their final opponents, the Calgary Flames will miss the playoffs yet another season. These teams are in similar situation, both on the rebuild, both playing for the future. The Jets may be a couple years ahead of the Flames but the future looks bright for both teams and Friday should be a fast and exciting game. Both teams are playing a lot of their young talent, evaluating for the future, and planning for next season. That means that many of the players in the game still have a lot to play for and you should get a pretty good match up, Lets Go!

Flames

The Calgary Flames sit 13th in the West and that is where they will stay. Before the Jets win over Boston Thursday night the Flames still had slim hopes of passing Winnipeg but as it stands the Canadian teams take up the bottom of the West. It has been another trying season for Flames fans, losing nearly 40 games, but in all the losses there has been some positives. This team has been far more competitive than most expected, beating some really good teams, and playing far more close games decided by just a goal or two. One of the pleasant surprises of the season was the play of young Sean Monahan. The sixth pick in last seasons draft proved himself a full time NHLer this season playing 73 games, notching 21 goals and 12 assists. Though his defensive play has been suspect at times, that is something he will grow into, and there are far more positives to his game than negatives. Friday will be the Flames second to last game as they will close out the season Sunday night in Vancouver.

Jets

Although having nothing to play for, the Winnipeg Jets came out Thursday night in their last home game of the season and played one of their best, and most exciting games of the year, beating the Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout. It was an inspiring effort by the team who very easily could have just packed things up and went home early, instead however they took the play to the probable President Trophy winners and earned two points in front of their home crowd. Two players stood out for Winnipeg, goalie Michael Hutchinson earned his first career win and looked like a seasoned veteran, instead of a guy getting only his second start ever. The other player who stood up and performed was Blake Wheeler. It is becoming more and more clear that Blake Wheeler is the real star on this team. He is the best player on the ice in a Jets jersey on a night to night basis and takes no games off. This team need more Blake Wheeler, if you can get more of that next season, they’ll be playing later into April without a doubt.

Keys to the Game

Last Game: The Jets will be tired no doubt playing the 82nd game of their season, and second in as many nights but there is nothing else going on. Put it all out there and get the W.

Create Seperation: Sure the Jets are near the bottom of the standings but go out there and dominate. Prove that there is more space between you and the bottom than you and the top.

Earn Jobs: Zach Redmond, Paul Postma, Eric Odell, Patrice Cormier, and some others are all playing for jobs next season. Go out there and show you belong in an NHL jersey.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (22-26-7) GAA: 3.01 SV% .901
Karri Ramo (17-13-4) GAA: 2.54 SV% .915

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Pavelec WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Thorburn WPG, (lower body) day-to-day
Bogosian WPG, (unknown) day-to-day
Ladd WPG, (lower body) out
Setoguchi WPG, (personal) out
Byfuglien WPG, (torn muscle) out

Wotherspoon CGY, (shoulder) day-to-day
Byron CGY, (personal) day-to-day
Smid CGY, (upper body) day-to-day
Granlund CGY, (upper body) day-to-day
Wideman CGY, (upper body) day-to-day
Jones CGY, (upper body) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Flames: 3-7-0

Prediction

Jets close with a win
Jets 5 Flames 3

Become an MVP

Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.

Diehard Winnipeg sports fan. Agree or disagree with something I wrote? Find me on twitter @seantheoilcan and let me know Go Jets Go!