The Winnipeg Jets are no doubt expecting great momentum from a fired up Lightning team, as Tampa attempt to score their sixth straight win and eager for a ninth straight home game win at the Ice Palace. Expectantly our hard-hitting Dustin Byfuglien will be stepping onto the ice tonight. His knee injury that has kept him off since mid-December looks to be on the verge of healing. If so, this brick house will do some major damage in Tampa and not let much action fly by this 6’5″ beast.
As Ondrej Pavelec likely returns to goal, he will be sure to shut out the goals if he can stay focused like he was in Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers in a shoot out stopping 27 shots in total. Stepping it up, the Jets will also need pretty boy right-winger, Blake Wheeler to put his stick into action and get some shots in. He just needs to stay on the ice and out of the penalty box.
As the Jets have ended their three game losing streak, maybe they can even stop madhouse Steven Stamkos, but not likely. Jets, ready or not, better be prepared for a dangerous and electrifying Stamkos. Back from the All-Star weekend – and still one of the NHL’s top scorers at 33 goals – he will definitely stick it to the Jets with at least two goals in this game. As he keeps racking up the points for the Lightning, he will be hungry for more when it comes time to face the Jets!
But whether the Lightning put an experienced and impressive Dwayne Roloson in net, or a much younger newbie to the team, Mathieu Garon, either way, the Jets gotta get the goals in. Fortunately for the Jets, Lightning defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron will not be in the battle against our Winnipeg Jets as his upper body injury keeps him out as it has since January 13. Like Bergeron, their 6’4″ forward Ryan Malone will also be joining him on the bench.
With our lead scorer Kane still out due to concussion, the Jets just need to keep their eye on the prize. Hopefully we will be on the up and up and not the down and out when the puck hits the ice against the forceful Lightning. So let’s put them on their backs boys and make it count!