JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ DALLAS

JETBLAST

 Winnipeg Jets (14-9-5) at  Dallas Stars (10-12-5)  7:30 p.m., American Airlines Centre,
TV: TSN3 Radio:TSN 1290

The first of four meetings between these two division rivals will take place Tuesday night in Dallas when the Winnipeg Jets make their first trip to Texas in the 2014-2015 season. The Stars took 3 of 5 last season and outscored the Jets by a wide margin, this years incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets is incredibly different however. Winnipeg has raised their play and have made themselves a serious playoff contender, while the Stars have fallen off this season and sit below .500 and well out of the playoff picture early this season. There is still plenty of time left this season and both teams have plenty of work to do. They will see a lot of each other to do it against as well. Jets and Stars face off Tuesday evening, Lets Go!

Stars

The Dallas Stars have been a huge disappointment this season thus far, with a 10-12-5 record the Stars are seriously under achieving. After shelling out some big bucks to get Jason Spezza in the off-season, and a very strong core from last season Dallas was expected to compete for the Central Division crown, however early on they find themselves fighting just to stay relevant. All that said, the Stars may be one of the best sub .500 teams in a long time. This team bring a lot to the table and are never looked at as an easy game. If they had gotten a few more bounces this season they may even be right where the Jets are, if not better. Dallas is fighting off a poor start and trying to work back into the playoff conversation. There biggest struggles this season has come against their Central division rivals, currently 0-6-3 against teams in the Central the Stars have put themselves seriously behind the eight ball. Though the Central may have some of the best skill in the league, as a team you cannot afford to have 9 losses in 9 games against your own division. It is long from over for the Stars but they need to pick up their play very quickly if they hope to still have a chance in the New Year.

Jets

The old moral victory made another appearance at the MTS Centre Sunday afternoon. Though the Jets dropped a 4-3 overtime decision, most fans walked away from the arena feeling pretty positive about their team. The Jets seem to be making believers of even the most hardened cynics that they may be a real contender this season. The heart this team shows on a night to night basis is amazing, and they went blow for blow with the Anaheim Ducks, the team that sits in first place of the whole league, was quite an accomplishment. The team is leaving on a short road trip short another player. The Jets latest blow to their roster comes in the form of an Evander Kane suspension. With mere seconds left in the second period of Sundays game Kane took a run at Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, and nailed him from behind. Kane was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct, and now today was hit with a two game suspension. The hit was dirty, stupid, and selfish, and the punishment was well deserved. A guy who seems to find himself surrounded by controversy at every turn is doing himself no favors. Though he has taken a lot of punishment from critics about his play on the ice, I think he has been an asset to the team, though maybe not getting some bounces. There is no defense for this play however, and all he did was hurt his teammates going forward,

Keys to the Game

Tyler Seguin: Seguin was the first player in the NHL this season to hit the 20 goal plateau, and has been a threat every time he has touched the puck or been on the ice. Since the trade that sent him from Boston, Seguin has grown into a true superstar and game breaker. The Jets have been far from immune to the great play of Seguin as he has ripped up the Winnipeg team in their match ups. In their 5 match ups last season Seguin had 6 goals and 10 points.

Jets back ups: With 3 D and now a top 6 forward out the Jets have a lot of players in the lineup that have not seen much NHL action this season. T.J. Galliardi will be the latest to draw into the lineup and he will need to be good, as well as all the other replacement players. This needs to be a strength for Winnipeg, or at very least, not a weakness.

Attack the back end: The skill of the Stars up front is undeniable, however there seems to be some weakness in the back end. The Stars have had struggles keeping the puck out of their own net. If the Jets can force the Stars skill players to play in their own end and attack the defense, the Jets will have a good chance to leave Texas with two points.

Starting Goalies

Ondrej Pavelec (9-8-3) GAA: 2.30 SV% .915
Kari Lehtonen (10-6-5) GAA: 3.03 SV% .904

Injuries

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

Eaves, DAL, (LBI) out
Nichushkin, DAL, (Groin) out
Nemeth, DAL, (Arm) out
Peverley, DAL, (Heart) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 5-2-3
Stars: 4-5-1

Prediction

Jets back on winning path
Jets 4  Stars 3

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!