JETBLAST: EDMONTON @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (29-19-10) at Edmonton Oilers (16-32-9) 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre,
TV: TSN3 Radio: TSN 1290
After a brief two game road trip in which the Jets had mixed results, Winnipeg returns home for a single game against the worst team in the Western Conference. Edmonton has struggled to find consistency this season, much like they have for the past few years. This is a game the Jets need to win, with so many games against good contending teams down this stretch run, the Jets can’t afford losing to a bad team. Jets and Oilers, Lets Go!

Oilers

The Oilers constant struggles continued this year. Once again it was supposed to be a new team this year, the rebuild was over and it was time to win. It was not to be however, the Oilers struggled again this year, they could not find solid goaltending, the team defence was non existent, and the offence was anything but consistent. The Oilers skill is well documented, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, RNH, the offence should be there. Jordan Eberle was a name that often came up in Jets circles as a possible trade target, the young Canadian has struggled to bring his game every night, but has proven he has the skill to be a big time player, and as a junior he scored some of the biggest goals in Canadian history. The Oilers have given Winnipeg problems in the past and that’s mainly due to their scoring. If The Oilers can play some solid D they may play the role of spoiler or Winnipeg.

Jets

The Jets got the job done Sunday night. After playing well and getting the short end of the stick in Nashville, Winnipeg played the same style of game and came out with a huge two points. It was not easy for the Jets who came from behind to earn the 5-4 shootout win. Going into those two games you have to think 2 of 4 points was a pretty good result as you are playing two quality teams. Winnipeg did exactly what they needed to, and though giving up more in their own end than they would have liked they managed the offense to counter act it. Now they head into a game that by all effective measurements they should win. The Oilers are not a good team, they have skill, but cannot put it all together. If the Jets play solid and play their game there is no reason that they shouldn’t win this game. That being said, in the past, games like this have been a problem for Jets teams of the past, whether it’s taking the game to lightly or just playing down to your opponents skill level, the Jets can’t afford any of it.

Keys to the Game

Win the Games you Should: Headed down the stretch the Jets have 16 of their final 24 games against Western Conference teams, 9 within the Central division, and all but 6 are against team either in the playoffs or within a few points of them. The Jets need to take advantage of these games that may be considered easier and need to make those games wins.

The New Guys: Recent acquisitions Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford were two of the main reasons the Jets won in Detroit. Now they make their debut for the home team in Winnipeg and the Jets need similar play and production from these guys. If Stafford can give the third line a legitimate offensive threat and Myers can be a D man that can be counted on, the Jets will make some noise in this race to the playoffs.
Penalties: At this point we all know the Jets are going to take penalties and will need to kill some time short handed. The number of bad penalties is to high however. Lazy stick infractions and offensive zone penalties are not the same as a guy being a little to anxious for a hit or a goal saving hook. Winnipeg needs to remove these bad penalties from their game or they will find themselves in trouble.

Starting Goalies

Michael Hutchinson (15-7-3) GAA: 2.24 SV% .923
Victor Fasth (6-15-2) GAA: 3.40 SV% .887

Injuries

Clitsome, WPG, (Back) out for season
Halischuk, WPG, (Undisclosed) out

Klinkhammer, EDM, (Personal reasons) day-to-day
Hendricks, EDM, (Bruised foot) day-to-day
Scrivens, EDM, (Hamstring) out
Hall, EDM, (Leg) out
Nikitin, EDM, (Shoulder) out
Pitlick, EDM, (Lacerated spleen) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 3-5-2
Oilers: 4-6-0

Prediction

Jets make it two straight with a dominating performance
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!