JETBLAST: WINNIPEG @ ST. LOUIS

JETBLAST

Winnipeg Jets (33-21-12) at St. Louis Blues (41-19-5) 7:00 p.m., Scottrade Center,
TV: TSN3 Radio: TSN 1290
For only the second time in the past two weeks the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets will hook up in a Central Division match up. It will be the third meeting this season, with still two to come and the Jets are currently without a win, losing 4-2 early in the season and 2-1 in a shootout on February 26th. The shootout loss, though not the result they wanted, it was the exact game the Winnipeg Jets want to play. A tough and tight defensive game, and that has carried over, they have played very well since and are have kept themselves in the playoff picture. At this point of the season however every point is important in the standings, and one game will be the difference in the end. Whether it is the Jets just holding on to a playoff spot, or the Blues within striking distance of first in the Central. Both teams feel as if they need this game and it will be very toughly contested. Winnpeg Jets are in St. Louis to take on the Blues, Lets Go!

Blues

The St. Louis Blues have been great all season and with the Nashville Predators recent struggles, the Blues now have a chance of taking that first place spot from the Preds, a huge in advantage that would come with home ice advantage. The Blues average over 3 goals a game, and give up less than two and half, they are so good on both sides of the ice. The offense comes from everywhere and that is where the Blues are truly an elite team. They do not need their first line to be going every night, if they are so slow any one of there other 3 forward lines can do the scoring. Often it is not even the forwards who do the scoring for this team. St. Louis has one of the most high scoring defensive corps as well, the scoring they get from ever spot makes the Blues real contenders to become league champions.

Jets

Every time the Jets take the ice it seems they must make up lost ground. With their race for the playoff spot with Minnesota, Calgary, Los Angelas, and most of the rest of the Pacific division actually. The Jets have fallen to the eighth spot for the first time in months, and that little safety bubble is gone. Now the Jets can lose their spot on any night, a single loss probably pushes them to the outside looking in. Winnipeg has been all right recently, not great, but all right is not good enough. Minnesota has been near unstoppable since the All Star the break, Calgary has not been losing hardly at all and have proven that no lead against them is safe. With L.A. and San Jose also in the chase positions, everyone is coming up strong behind the Jets. If Winnipeg doesn’t get rolling themselves, they will be on the outside looking in. St. Louis is a challenge, and will be two more times after tonight, the Jets cannot allow themselves to be pushed around by this team, and will need to get some wins against them or they will not be able to make the playoffs.

Keys to the Game

St. Louis with the Blues?: The Blues are without argument one of the best in the league, and one of the biggest favorites to win the Stanley Cup. However, as the bottom half of the playoff picture in the West refuses to lose, St Louis, along with Chicago and Nashville, have been just so-so recently. The Blues are 5-4-1 in their last 10 and this may be the perfect time for Winnipeg to strike.

Play the same Game: In their last meeting, Winnipeg played near perfect defense, they created chances on the other end, and though they couldn’t get the win it was nearly the perfect game for the Jets. Winnipeg cannot be discouraged by the loss they suffered that night, they need to play the exact same style, if they do, they will get more than one goal on this night, and they will be able to get the win.

Rear view Mirror: Don’t pay what is happening behind you any attention, if Winnipeg focuses to much on the teams that chase them, they will soon be the ones in the chase position. The Jets have done enough this year to put themselves in position to control their own destination. Go out and win your games and you will be fine, help will come behind you, no one can win every game, but the Jets have very little control over it. Take the ice, play your game and get wins, if you don’t do that, it doesn’t matter what happens behind you, you’ll be golfing come April.

Starting Goalies

Michael Hutchinson (20-8-5) GAA: 2.30 SV% .918
Brian Elliot (21-10-2) GAA: 2.16 SV% .923

Injuries

Clitsome, WPG, (Back) out for season
Halischuk, WPG, (Undisclosed) out
Perreault, WPG, (LBI) out
Byfuglien, WPG, (UBI) out
Little, WPG, (Undisclosed) out
Chiarot, WPG, (Broken Hand) out

Shattenkirk, STL, (Abdominal injury) out
Joikenen, STL, (UBI) day-to-day
Bouwmeester, STL, (Flu) day-to-day
Michalek, STL, (Concussion) out

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

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

Prediction

Jets finally beat St. Louis
Jets 3 Blues 1

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!