March 14 2013 11:34AM
Games don't get much bigger than this. Actually, they often do. Certainly, in the Playoffs the stakes are much, much higher. In fact, every Jets game after this one will increases exponentially in meaning, pressure, and hyperbole.
But today is today, and tonight, the Winnipeg Jets have a chance to leapfrog the New York Rangers for the coveted 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference. All they have to do is kick their ass, which I'm confident they'll do. Let's take a closer look at things.
Ladd - Little - Wheeler
Kane - Jokinen - Miettinen
Wright - Antropov - Wellwood
Tangradi - Cormier - Thorburn
Hainsey - Bogosian
Clitsome - Byfuglien
Stuart - Meech
Notes and Trash Talk - The Jets beat down the over-hyped Maple Leafs in their last game 5-2, and are 3-0-1 in their last 4...in the last matchup between the Jets and Rangers, the good guys prevailed 4-3 in New York...Jim Slater is hurt, and Patrice Cormier, former Team Canada Junior Team star and acquired in the Ilya Kovalchuk heist, has been called up from the St. John's Cod Kissers... Burmistrov or Cormier will take Slater's spot, with Noel saying it's a game-time decision... Joining Slater as missing in action is Tobias Enstrom, Zach Redmond, Anthonly Peluso and Olli Jokinen's groove...The Jets average 28.6 shots for, and 28.5 shots against, per game...Andrew Ladd is 18th in League Scoring, which is pretty damn impressive...
New York Rangers
Hagelin - Richards - Nash
Gaborik - Stepan - Callahan
Pyatt - Boyle - Miller
Haley - Halpern - Powe
Girardi - McDonaugh
Del Zotto - Stralman
Gilroy - Eminger
Notes and Trash Talk - Aaron Asham may make his return to the Rangers lineup tonight, which is a big deal to the Asham family and few others...The Rangers are also without Marc Staal, who's out with that terrible eye injury. Poor dude. What made it worse is how many times I've seen the replay of it. It's gross. And before it, the broadcaster always something like "it was such a horrific injury, and here's the Video!". Has anyone told them them don't have to play squeemish injury videos on repeat?...Rangers suck!!...Rick Nash leads the Rangers with 23 points in 21 games. He also leads all of the United States in "Im grateful to be out of Ohio" shouts of joy...Henrik Lundquist has only 11 wins in 25 games, but has solid numbers otherwise with a 2.28GAA and a .919SV% in 21 games. Martin Biron perhaps even better. It's a small sample size, but in 5 games he has 2 wins and a 2.17GAA and a .923SV%
Seriously Important Information
Game time is 7:00pm Central Time live from Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba. JetsNation members worldwide take note and calculate your time zones accordingly. The game is televised on TSN in Winnipeg (you lucky bastards!) and for the rest of the Planet, you can hear it on TSN Radio here. I haven't seen the odds yet, but you can assume the Jets are favored by at least 6.5 goals.
5 Predictions you might just be able to bet your life savings on:
1. John Tortorella will behave flippantly and irrationally.
2. Kyle Wellwood will continue his improved play.
3. Pope Francis will do the cermonial opening faceoff.
4. Ondrej Pavelec will make an amazing, jaw dropping save, then later allow a terrible goal from an angle previously deemed impossible to score on by accredited physicists.
5. Nobody will bet their life savings on any of these (sure bet!)
This is the kind of opportunity the Jets have to grab. They have a chance to end the night in a playoff spot, and if you win the majority of games with those kinds of stakes, you usually find yourself as a playoff team. To boot, with a win, the Jets, with some help from Washington, would be only 1 point of first place in the Southeast Division. The Jets have been hot of late, can they keep it up and make a serious run at Division Crown? Abandon your repsonsibilites tonight and find out!