JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ CHICAGO

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (5-5-1) at Chicago Blackhawks (6-4-1) 8:00 p.m., United Center, TV: TSN3  Radio:TSN 1290

The 4 game road trip is coming to an end and so far it has been rather successful for Winnipeg. 2-0-1 heading into the last game, I’m sure if you offer that to Jets fans before they jump all over it. They close in Chicago to visit the Hawks in the Madhouse on Madison. Both teams had games Saturday night, Winnipeg got a thrilling 1-0 shootout win on the back of an Evander Kane shootout winner. The Hawks did not receive a fate as fortunate. Despite a huge shot difference, and often a large slant in play towards the Leafs end, the Hawks fell 3-2 to Toronto. Winnipeg has struggled against the Hawks since their return, they try to change it Sunday night, Lets Go!

Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks did not receive the fate they may have deserved Saturday night. Despite outshooting Toronto by a 47-27 margin, they could only manage two goals and took the loss. They move on though to their match up with Winnipeg Sunday night and have to feel pretty good about their chances. Since the Jets came back the Hawks have had the advantage, and last season, absolutely dominated Winnipeg in their inter-divisional match ups. The back end of back to back is always interesting though and anything can happen. Chicago will always be dangerous offensively with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews leading the charge. These are two of the premier players in the game today and can turn a game around with one touch. The big question mark is starting goalie Antti Raanta, the relative unknown may be the difference in this game Sunday night.

Jets

While Winnipeg may have felt they did not get the result they deserved in New Jersey, things seem to even out as they got the win Saturday night despite being outplayed for large periods of time in New York. It was a big win for the team, especially for Ondrej Pavelec, who will quiet critics for at least a couple days, and Evander Kane, who though he won’t get credit for a goal in the stats, notched the winner in the shootout. The biggest factor in the Jets success, or lack of in Chicago will be Michael Hutchinson. The young goaltender who made so much noise last season had a rough start to this campaign. In his first season as a everyday NHLer, Hutch struggled in the pre season and his first start was anything but good. He needs to bounce back, and the Jets are throwing him to the wolves to give him the chance. The Blackhawks will be a huge test for the young goaltender but if he can play well he will not only give Winnipeg a chance to win, but he will play his way into a few more starts.

Keys to the Game

Match Pavelec: Ondrej Pavelec was unreal for the Jets Saturday in New York. They need the same effort from Hutchinson if they want to stay with the Hawks.

First 3 steps: The Hawks play with an enormous amount of speed and explosiveness. The Jets need to count on their D to be able to get back, and get there fast to avoid giving up odd man rushes.

Energy: Both teams played last night and then traveled so they are sure to be tired and worn out. The team that is able to bring the most energy to the arena will win the game.

Starting Goalies

Michael Hutchinson (0-1-0) GAA: 4.50 SV% .864
Anttti Raanta (1-2-0) GAA: 2.03 SV% .933

Injuries

Peluso, WPG, (UBI) day-to-day

Carcillo,CHI, (Knee) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 4-5-1
Blackhawks: 5-4-1

Prediction

Hawks have far more than Jets can handle
Blackhawks 6 Jets 2

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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!