Winnipeg Jets (26-17-8) at Calgary Flames (27-20-3) 8:00 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome,
TV: TSN3 Radio: TSN 1290
The Winnipeg Jets begin two days of back to back games in Western Canada, starting tonight when they take on the Calgary Flames. The two Canadian rivals currently hold both wild card spots in the Western Conference and these two points will be huge for both teams who are trying to hold on. When every team in the race seems to win every night it is tough to create space, or overcome losses and every two points is enormous in the standings. Two former rivals face off at the Saddledome in Calgary tonight, it’s Jets and Flames, Lets Go!


The Calgary Flames continue to be one of the most pleasant surprises in the NHL this season. Sitting in eighth and a playoff spot is far better than the expected last place finish than many analysts were expecting. This is mainly in part to some very fast developments of some young players in Calgary, and the veteran leadership of captain Mark Giordano. Giordano had his coming out party last season, where he had one of the best Corsi ratings of all time, and he has just improved this year. Giordano should be a Norris candidate, and at this point with the success of the team may even be a favourite to win the trophy for the NHLs best defence man. What makes the Flames captain so good is his skill on both sides of the ice. In his own zone Giordano plays a hard nose tough style that not many players can compete with. In the offensive zone he is one of the Flames best talents, and his point totals show it. There a few players in the NHL more valuable to their team than Mark Giordano.


The lead over the non-playoff teams continues to shrink as the Jets are now losers of 3 straight. The 5-2 loss to Dallas marked the third straight game the Jets have given up 5 goals and it saw them continue to lose breathing room in the Wild Card standings. Every team goes on losing streaks but the Jets are picking a pretty terrible time to have theirs. After losing games 2,3, and 4 this year the Jets hadn’t lost 3 straight since, and that had most people assuming playoffs. That assumption is all but gone now and the Jets need to pick it up if they want to earn it. Their heads need to be on better as the Jets lost the game against the Stars with some just bonehead plays. From penalties to bad pinches and everything in between, the Jets have just not been smart. It appears Michael Hutchinson has earned his second straight start. The rookie who seems to have won the number 1 job is now 0-2 with 10 goals allowed since the break. Though you cannot really blame him in either of the games, you could even say he played pretty well in Philadelphia, 10 goals is to many. With the back to back both goalies will get a shot in pretty must win games, so there is a lot of pressure on both guys. The goalies will need help however and if the defense does not improve it doesn’t matter which goaltender is in net, the Jets will continue to lose.

Keys to the Game

Lowry Legacy: Adam Lowry visits Calgary for the first time in his NHL career. The town is special to the Lowry family as it is where Adam’s father Dave made his name. Now Adam comes in playing for the opposition and playing a huge role. On the third line with Evander Kane and Chris Thorburn,  they have given the Jets a different look and will be key to getting back on track.

Discipline: The Jets received no help from the men in striped shirts during Saturdays loss to the Dallas Stars, but they also didn’t help themselves. Though some penalties could have gone the other way, most we’re just stupid and indisciplined. The Jets need to play smarter to have a chance.

Defense: Since the break the Jets have allowed 15 goals against in 3 games. For a team that was among the league leader it is not good enough. If the Jets want to continue to complete for the playoffs, they need to get back on track in their own zone.

Starting Goalies

Michael Hutchinson (14-5-2) GAA: 2.15 SV% .927
Jonas Hiller (15-14-2) GAA: 2.36 SV% .914


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

Wolf, CGY, (LBI) out
Hudler, CGY, (Illness) out
Smid, CGY, (Undisclosed) out
Glencross, CGY, (LBI) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 6-3-1
Flames: 6-4-0


Jets finally snap losing streak
Jets 4 Flames 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!