JETBLAST: COLORADO @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST

Colorado Avalanche (2-4-2) at Winnipeg Jets (2-5-0) 2:00 p.m., MTS Centre, TV: TSN 3  Radio:TSN 1290

The Winnipeg Jets close out their 5 game home stand with a divisional match up against the Colorado Avalanche. Both teams have come in below expectations so far this season, but it is still early and both have a chance to turn it around. These teams were on opposite ends of the Central last season, but early on this year find themselves neck and neck at the bottom. Many believe the Avs are on a bit of a slump to start the season and have the skill to pull themselves out of it. Unfortunately the feelings in Winnipeg are not so optimistic as of yet. Jets and Avs, Central division show down, Lets Go!

Avalanche

Colorado snapped a 4 game losing streak Friday with a dominating 7-3 romping of the Vancouver Canucks. It was a return to style for the Avs, back to the high powered offensive juggernaut that led them to the top of the Central division last season. Nothing has worked the same thus far this season however, the goaltending they relied on so heavily has been hurt or struggling, and the offense has not been able to get going consistently. The main change the Avs made over the offseason was the addition of some age and experience. Colorado brought in both Danny Briere and Jarome Iginla to add some veteran leadership and Stanley cup playoff experience to their young core of players. The Avs still have all the skill from last season, they need to avoid regressing as a team though if they want to remain contenders for the Central crown.

Jets

The Winnipeg Jets disappointed the home crowd again Friday dropping a 4-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was a frustrating game for Jets fans who saw their team fire nearly 30 shots towards the Lightning net in the first two periods, yet still only be able to muster a 1 on the scoreboard. Now the Jets need a win Sunday to avoid falling to 2-6, a franchise worst since the move to Winnipeg. It is the same thing that has broken down for Winnipeg all season. LAck of scoring, untimely defensive break downs, and the inability to make the big save when it is needed. Though shouldering much of the blame from fans, Ondrej Pavelec has not been bad in the pipes, there have been very few bad goals. The problem is this team needs more than a goalie who just makes the saves he should. Winnipeg needs a goalie who is able to bail them out and steal some games, until somebody starts doing that in the Jets net, this may be a long year for Winnipeg fans.

Keys to the Game

Control the Rate of Play: Colorado has a very speedy run and gun style. If they are able to use their speed in this game, they will blow by the Jets. If Winnipeg can control the game, slow it down, they may be able to surprise the young guns from Colorado.

Goaltending: Neither team has received the goaltending they need to contend so far this season. The team that can lean more on their goaltender this afternoon will most likely leave with a W.

Avoid record breaking: 2-6 would be a franchise low for the Jets, and being that far behind so early may end this season before it even starts for Winnipeg.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (2-4-0) GAA: 2.71 SV% .899
Semyon Varlamov (1-2-1) GAA: 3.58 SV% .907

Injuries

Kane, WPG, (Knee) out

Wilson, COL, (Shoulder) day-to-day
Bordeleau, COL, (Back) out
Winchester, COL, (Concussion) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 2-5-0
Avalanche: 2-4-1

Prediction

Avs offense to much for struggling Jets
Avalanche 5 Jets 3

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