JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ ARIZONA

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (20-13-7) at Arizona Coyotes (15-20-4)  8:00 p.m., Gila River Arena,
TV: TSN3 Radio: TSN 1290
For the second time this season the two teams that have at one time called Winnipeg home will face off when the Winnipeg Jets visit the Arizona Coyotes. The only other time these teams met was the season opener in which the Jets dominated the home team by a 6-2 score. On that night the Jets dominated every facet of the game and looked like the team that fans have come to expect. Of course at this time though the Coyotes were expected to struggle and when the Jets faultered the rest of their first couple weeks it was written off as a bad team beating a worse one. Now though the Jets have been consistent and strong much of the season and their fans will be expecting another dominating performance over the struggling Coyotes. Jets and Yotes, Lets Go!

Coyotes

New name but same team for the Arizona Coyotes, the Yotes have struggled all season long and now float around the bottom of the Western Conference. Things have reached a new low in the past week however as Arizona has gone down twice by 6-0 scores. It has been an embarrassing week for the team and they will need to bounce back or they could completely crumble. You know things are bad for a team when that teams leading scorer is a defense man. That is just the case in Arizona as it is Keith Yandle who leads the team with 26 points in 39 games. Nothing against Yandle, who is one of the best offensive defense men in the league, but in the NHL if you want to be a good team, this is not going to work. The Coyotes also bring the last original Jet to this game. Shane Doan who is still playing all these years after his rookie season in Winnipeg the last season the Jets called Manitoba home. Doan has seen his play decline and role lessen as any aging player will, but he is still the heart and soul of this team, and when he finally hangs them up, it will be the end of an era.

Jets

It was an incredibly disappointing game for the Jets Monday night as although they didn’t lose it until the final seconds, they were never really in it to begin with. It was a very poor effort from the home side who was dominated for most of the 60 minutes. A big reason the Jets were never able to get into the game was that they were playing a man down for seemingly half the game. The Jets were on the penalty kill 7 times and were lucky to only give up a single goal, that being said however, taking that many penalties against  a quality opponent makes it near impossible to win. Many more games like that and the Jets will find themselves way out of the playoff picture. They have slid to eighth with that loss but did receive some help from teams around them as many of the teams below the line suffered some big losses. The Jets enter a very difficult road stretch moving forward and need to raise their play if they want to hold onto that playoff spot.

Keys to the Game

Re-enforcements are on the Way!: The Jets have been arguably the team in the league most ravished by injury. With 5 defense men out and one of their top forwards, the Jets have been lucky to fair as good as they have been. It seems some health is on the horizon though as both Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane will travel with the team and are expected to return to the lineup. This should be a huge boost to a roster that has taken so many hits in the last few weeks. The Jets need that help and hope it brings the level of their play even higher than it was before.

Stay out of the Box!: I thought I said this headed into the last game but apparently the Jets were not interested in this advice. It cost them dearly and even with a team of lower caliber, if the Jets give up that many man down opportunities they will suffer a crushing loss.

Be the Better Team: The Winnipeg Jets are the far and away better team, both on paper and on the ice. It is important that they come out and play like it, the Jets have all the ability to be able to skate into Arizona and hand them a third 6-0 loss in the last week, but they also have shown they can come out and lay an egg. This will all be on the Winnipeg Jets and if they show up to play.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (10-9-5) GAA: 2.40 SV% .911
Mike Smith (6-16-2) GAA: 3.57 SV% .882

Injuries

Enstrom, WPG, (LBI) out
Trouba, WPG, (Undisclosed) out
Bogosian, WPG, (LBI) day-to-day
Stuart, WPG, (LBI) out
Kane, WPG, (LBI) out
Clitsome, WPG, (Undisclosed) out

Hanzal, ARI, (UBI) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 5-4-1
Coyotes: 5-4-1

Prediction

Jets get back on track, dominate a poor Coyote squad
Jets 5 Coyotes 2

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!

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