JETBLAST: NEW JERSEY @ WINNIPEG

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (9-7-3) at New Jersey Devils (8-8-2) 7:00 p.m., MTS Centre, TV: TSN3  Radio:TSN 1290

After maybe the most exciting game of the season Sunday afternoon in Minnesota, Winnipeg returns to the MTS Centre for a short home stand, starting Tuesday when the New Jersey Devils come to town. In their first match up this season Cory Scneider dominated the game and gave the Jets a 2-1 shootout loss. The game was notable thanks to the Devils breaking an 18 game, year and a half shootout losing streak. Blake Wheeler got the lone Jets goal in the first period and Michael Ryder tied it for the Devils late in the third, sending the game to extra time. Despite the loss the Jets have had success against New Jersey  notching a point in all 6 games against New Jersey in the past 3 seasons. These are two very defensive teams so it will be interesting to see if anyone can break out offensively. The Jets return to the hangar to challenge the Devils, Lets Go!

Devils

The Devils are still without a firm identity this year. A team that has been so defensive minded and relied so heavily on Martin Brodeure over the years is now in the middle of an identity crisis. Trying to play the same game was not working early this season, especially with Cory Schneider struggling. Recently however the former Manitoba Moose goaltender has seemed to regain some form and opponents have not had an easy time with him. The Devils like the Jets hpwever have long struggled for goals, and it seems to be continuing. The Devils are sitting at .500 and that is good enough in the East these days. With only 18 points  in the same amount of games the Devils currently own the third playoff spot from the struggling league worst Metropolitan division (the worst named division as well). New Jersey will be looking to raise their game  and there is no time like the present. Much of the load will continue to fall on Schneider however until the scoring woes are fixed.

Jets

Though the Jets suffered two divisional losses this weekend, due to the way Sundays game ended they may leave feeling pretty good about themselves. No one could have guessed that the Jets would have been able to overcome a 3 goal deficit in the third period to come back and force overtime. However, on the back of goals by Michael Frolik, Evander Kane, and a high slot tip in by Andrew Ladd the Jets tied it, and if the posts hadn’t gotten in the way twice in the final minutes Winnipeg could have left Minnesota with two points. It was not to be however and Minnesota scored early in overtime for the two points. The biggest loss the Jets may have suffered this weekend however was not on the scoreboard but instead in a Mark Scheifele injury. Scheifele went down in immediate pain during Sundays loss and did not return. Fans will remember the games missed by number 55 last season due to an MCL injury and you fear the worst as to what this may be. The only thing certain at this point is that Mark Scheifele will be out Tuesday, and the Jets are expected to update his condition sometime during the day. This may be a season changing loss for the Jets if it is long term so fans will be hoping for some good news before tomorrows game.

Keys to the Game

Keep the scoring going: Down 3-0 going into the third I’d wager many Jets fans were flipping the channel, this is a team that can hardly score 3 goals, never mind 3 in a period. Low and behold though, the Jets dominate the third and manage to tie the game and take it to overtime. Though the two points would have been huge for Winnipeg, that single means a lot to this team and it is something to build on.

Bounce Back: Ondrej Pavelec played just one period in Minnesota, allowing three goals on just 11 shots. Though it is hard to really blame him for the goals, it will be important for him to bounce back and play his game.

Jet Killer: Adam Henrique has killed the Jets since their return to Winnipeg. Though he is listed as day-to-day, if he plays he could be a major game breaker. He has 2 game winning goals in career games versus Winnipeg and has been dangerous in all.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (7-6-2) GAA: 2.14 SV% .923
Cory Schneider (8-7-2) GAA: 2.71 SV% .910

Injuries

Scheifele, WPG, (LBI) undisclosed

Salvador, NJD, (LBI) out
Clowe, NJD, (Concussion) out
Henrique, NJD, (Undisclosed) day-to-day
Merrill, NJD, (Arm) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

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

Prediction

Jets O keeps it going
Jets 4 Devils 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!