JETBLAST: EDMONTON @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST

 Edmonton Oilers (6-15-4) at  Winnipeg Jets (12-9-4) 8:00 p.m., MTS Centre, TV: SNOne  Radio:TSN 1290

After five long days without Jets hockey, Winnipeg is finally back, and on home ice to try and keep up with the rest of the tough Western division. After a very successful road trip where the Jets earned 5 of a possible 6 points, they are now returning home for a few very winnable games. On the other side of the rink, Edmonton Oilers fans may be wishing for a few more days off. The Oilers have been a disaster again this season especially in their current stretch. Edmonton has now gone 10 games without a win, dating back to November 9th. In those losses they have only managed 3 points in OTL. No one is happy in Edmonton  but the Oilers will come back and look for a win in Winnipeg Wednesday night. A special start time is worth noting in Winnipeg, puck drops at 8 pm, Lets Go!

Oilers

It has been another year of wasted potential, and jerseys thrown on the ice for the Oilers. Things have just gotten worse as of late as well, with no wins in 10 games, nearly a calendar month without two points, this Oiler team may have reached an all time low. What may be most worrying for fans in Edmonton are that the wins they do have all come against Eastern Conference opponents. The Oilers still have not gotten a win against a team in the West, which is a major problem considering they play in the West. Another worry in Edmonton is how do you fix this problem? Number one picks and free agents haven’t done it, they seem to have a lot of the pieces they need but they cannot put it all together. They have the puzzle but are missing pieces, and the further we go in the season pieces seem to be getting lost more and more as things continue to fall apart. What do the Oilers have going for them? There is still plenty of skill on this team, especially at the front end, and they have more than one guy who can break a game open. The Jets need to be careful Wednesday night because the Oilers do have enough to come out and shock almost anyone on a one night basis.

Jets

The Winnipeg Jets did what they needed to do on the road, earning wins they needed to have over the two worst teams in the East, as well as getting a single point against a difficult Boston Bruins team. They now have a similar chance for wins when they play two of the three worst teams in the West, once again Winnipeg needs to take advantage. In the West every game is important, especially in the Central, no one is losing games and gaining ground is near impossible. If you don’t beat the bottom teams you don’t have a chance. The one negative coming out of the road trip is in team health. Bryan Little missed a game, Michael Frolik and Grant Clitsome were banged up and Tobi Enstrom has been placed on the IR. Apart from Enstrom and Clitsome the Jets are hopeful all their injury problems are cleared up prior to game time, and everyone is in. Enstrom is a big loss for Winnipeg and with no announcement on the Swedes health, there is no timetable. Though he has had his doubters in the last couple years, myself included, Enstrom has stepped up this season. Playing number one minutes he has evolved into a true number one  d-man and the Jets are taking a major blow without him in the lineup. Also without Clitsome, the JEts have called up Ben Chariot who will most likely make his season debut on Wednesday, he needs to play strong and keep the Jets D unit at the top of their game.

Keys to the Game

Control the big Guns: Though not a strong team the Oilers do have some talent up front. Specifically Taylor Hall who leads the team in points and goals, and managed 5 points in three games against Winnipeg last season. The Jets need to be able to keep Edmontons big guns in check, even against Edmonton the Jets cannot spot them extra goals.

Goals: Edmonton has struggled to keep the puck out of their net. Their defense is weak, their goaltenders have struggled, and as a team they have been giving up a lot. In Boston the Jets missed on to many great chances and it cost them a point. They cannot allow that to happen in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

Just Win Baby: The Jets are playing probably the worst team in the league. They need to use their talent and play their game and they should walk away with 2 points. Easy to say harder to do, but that’s what the Jets need Wednesday night.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (8-8-2) GAA: 2.23 SV% .919
Ben Scrivens (4-9-2) GAA: 3.38 SV% .888

Injuries

Enstrom, WPG, (LBI) out
Clitsome, WPG, (Undisclosed) out
Little, WPG, (Knee) day-to-day

Hendricks, EDM, (Leg) day-to-day
Pouliot, EDM, (Broken foot) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-4-2
Oilers: 0-7-3

Prediction

Jets do what they need to and earn their 13th win.
Jets 4 Oilers 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!