Two teams that many think will be battling to stay out of the basement of the Western Conference square off Sunday night when the Calgary Flames visit the Winnipeg Jets and the MTS Centre faithful. Neither team has started strong, both losing 3 games already in this young season. The difference though, Calgary has played two more games, both wins, keeping them at a .500 record thus far. The two central Canadian teams met twice this in the last two games of the pre-season, splitting the matchups. Winnipeg controlled at home cruising to a 4-2 win while the Flames dominated their way to a 4-1 win in Calgary. These games should be a good indication of what we will see Sunday night so strap in for a great hockey match up, Lets Go!
The Flames continue the rebuild this season that seems to be going on forever. It appears there are finally things to be excited for however, the Flames have built a young core group that appears to skilled enough to make some noise in the coming years. The big addition this season is goaltender Jonas Hiller. Since the loss of Mikka Kiprusoff the Flames have not had a steady answer in goal and it has cost them. This season however it appears they have been able to lean on the goalie, and when one of the young guys make a mistake, there is at least a chance that they will be bailed out. The confidence that a team can gain knowing they have a goalie like Hiller behind them is unmeasurable, and coming into a game against a team that has struggled to score, may be worth a W and 2 points on the road.
For the second game in a row Winnipeg failed to put a puck into the net. The problems scoring are a problem that was concerning enough that the Jets shuffled their lines at practice today. Dustin Byfuglien will move up to play with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little for Sundays game. Taking his spot with Scheifele and Wheeler will be Mathieu Perreault. Perreault has struggled to get going so far, with only one assist, but this new assignment will put him with line mates that play a game similar to his, and the Jets hope that can inspire the whole line to get something going. Rounding out the lines, Lowry will get his first game at Centre with Galiardi and Frolik flanking him, and it appears Peluso and Thorburn will play around Jim Slater. The Jets hope these new lines can inspire some offence, cause boy do they need it.
Stay Solid: Ondrej Pavelec saw his record dip to 1-2 after Fridays loss but the Czech goaltender has been great this season and you’d be hard pressed to blame anything on him. Pavalec has given his team a chance to win, and you cannot ask anything else from the goalie.
Special teams: Perfect on the penalty kill, zeroes on the power play. One stat has to change and one stay the same for Winnipeg if they hope to get on track.
Johnny Hockey: One of the most anticipated players in the Flames system is quickly becoming one of the more must see players in the league. Johnny Gaudreau dazzled crowds during the NHL pre season, and although pointless in the regular system remains a threat every time he touches the puck.
Ondrej Pavelec (1-2-0) GAA: 2.22 SV% .918
Jonas Hiller (1-2-0) GAA: 2.62 SV% .934
Kane, WPG, (Knee) out
Engelland, CGY, (LBI) day-to-day
Jones, CGY, (LBI) out
Flames are just what the doctor ordered for Jets offence
Jets 3 Flames 1
Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.