One down one to go, the Jets beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 last night and now just 24hrs later get in to Buffalo for the second in this back to back against a couple of the bottom teams in the league. Buffalo is sitting in dead last right now and the Jets need to finish off this two day stretch with another win. The Sabres will not just roll over and give this one to the the Jets however as this is a different team than it was just 1 week ago. The Sabres have 3 straight wins and are threatening to climb out of the basement. They look for their 4th straight Wednesday, Jets and Sabres, Lets Go!
The Buffalo Sabres are looking like the disaster every one predicted coming into the season. With just 14 points they are tied for the lowest total in the league. They have not had success in much of any category. This week however the Sabres seem to have surged, 3 straight wins against some pretty decent teams has prospects at least looking up for Buffalo. Still the stats are not pretty, their leading scorer has only 13 points (Tyler Ennis), only 3 players on their team have a positive +/-, and their goaltenders are giving up over 3 goals against a game. There is not much positive going up and down the Sabres roster, the thing to look forward to the most may be the future addition of Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid. In goal Jonas Enroth will be making his 13th start of the season. Hard to say whether it has been him or everyone around him that has been the problem, but probably fair to say it is a little of both. Still with 3 straight wins and coming off 4 days of rest, the Sabres may have a bit of an advantage tonight and cannot be taken lightly.
The Winnipeg Jets got back on track last night with their 4-2 win in Columbus and their were other positives to take from the game. The powerplay finally got going with two goals by Evander Kane (though one was an empty netter), and that may be just as important. Both got off the skid and the Jets hope that it continues. Kane is probably the most skilled player on the ice for the Jets every night, it just depends if he has it going. Recently there have been too many penalties, and not enough offense, Winnipeg needs more from him. Winnipeg will need more from everyone tonight though if they hope to get the second win in this back-to-back. At times in Columbus the Jets let themselves get hemmed in, and partly due to penalties, they were thoroughly dominated in parts of that game, especially during the second period. Coming off a back to back has been a challenge for Winnipeg in the past as well, that needs to be quickly forgotten today, and the Jets need two points.
Penalty Kill: A stat that seemed so promising for the Jets early this season has fallen apart recently. Though at one time they were the top of rankings in penalty kill they have since dropped, giving up PP goals in their last 5 games. Winnipeg needs to get back on form as they cannot afford giving teams any extra goals.
Fatigue: The Jets played 24hrs ago while the Sabres have been off since the 22nd. An argument that often comes up closer to playoff time is fatigue vs. rust. Buffalo will be looking to take advantage of the Jets being tired, while Winnipeg will hope that Buffalo is still trying to find their game legs late in the game.
Ondrej: Expect Ondrej Pavelec to get the start after Hutch played yesterday and the Jets can only hope they can get the same kind of performance. At times Winnipeg was saved by their goaltender and if he had not been good the game could have gone far differently. The Jets need the same kind of performance from Pavelec to continue their success tonight.
Ondrej Pavelec (7-8-2) GAA: 2.29 SV% .917
Jonas Enroth (3-8-1) GAA: 3.40 SV% .908
Enstrom, WPG, (LBI) day-to-day
McCormick, BUF, (Undisclosed) day-to-day
Gorges, BUF, (LBI) out
Hackett, BUF, (Torn ACL) out
Neuvirth, BUF, (LBI) day-to-day
Jets win again, it is not pretty though.
Jets 2 Sabres 0
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