Game #47 At Washington: The Game

Travis Hrubeniuk
April 23 2013 11:46AM

 
Washington Capitals (25-18-2) Vs.
Your Winnipeg Jets (24-19-3)
 
Last Meeting:
March 22nd, Jets 1 - Capitals 6
 
Broadcast:
TV: TSN Jets
Puck Drop: 6:00 (CT)
 

Preview

Here it is. The game that Jets management, Jets players, Jets coaches, and Jets fans have had circled on their calendars for weeks. It’s already been said today by many, players included, but this is the biggest game of the year.

A win tonight in regulation or overtime will pull the Jets ahead of the Washington Capitals for the Southeast Division lead, ahead of the Ottawa Senators in points, potentially ahead of the New York Rangers in points, and potentially tied with the New York Islanders in points (they would remain ahead based on games played). All of them will have a game in hand on the Jets following tonight, but being ahead is what matters right now.

A loss, in regulation or overtime would officially hand Washington the Southeast title (a shootout loss leaves a glimmer of hope), and a regulation loss combined with one more win by the Rangers, or Sens or a mere point from the Islanders ends the Jets playoff hopes.

It really does not get much bigger than this.

It’s not going to be an easy matchup. The Jets have lost many players to injury as of late (Bogo, Jokinen, Wellwood, Enstrom), and the Caps have been firing on all cylinders, (9-1-0 in thier last 10). The Jets are unfortunately on the second half of a back to back, and are on the road. Yet if there is one thing I have learnt about these Winnipeg Jets, it’s that more often then not they manage to truly compete when they really need to.

By The Numbers

 

Capitals

Jets

5x5 GF/60

2.41 (8th)

2.32 (11th)

5x5 GA/60

2.24 (17th)

2.59 (25th)

Goals by Period

36 – 54 – 44

30 – 53 – 34

Fenwick (5x5 Close)

47.24 (23rd)

50.19 (15th)

PDO

1015

995

 

Home

Away

Home

Away

PP%

25.7% (2nd)

26.5% (1st)

15.8% (25th)

10.9% (28th)

PK%

80.3% (22nd)

76.1% (25th)

86.4% (10th)

73.1% (29th)

Top Scorer

Mike Ribeiro

21GP 6-18-24

Alex Ovechkin

24GP 19-10-29

Andrew Ladd

23GP 12-17-29

Andrew Ladd

 23GP 6-11-17

Potential Lineups

Jets

Ladd - Little - Wheeler
Kane - Wright - Antropov?
Tangradi - Burmistrov - Santorelli
Thorburn - Gagnon - Miettinen
 
Meech - Byfuglien
Hainsey - Clitsome
Postma - Stuart
 
Pavelec
Montoya

Wellwood suffered what looked and sounds like a broken hand in Buffalo last night, so add another name to the Jets injury pile. There have been rumors that Antro will be ready to make his return tonight, but I don’t think Noel is going to want to break up the Burmi line, so it looks like Kane is stuck with the subpar line once again. The real test is going to be the battered and bruised blue line trying to control the Ovie line all night. No easy task on a regular night, but with Ovechkin clicking at the level he has been of late, it is going to be quite the challenge.

Caps

Ovechkin - Backstrom - Johansson
Brouwer - Ribeiro - Erat
Volpatti - Hendricks - Beagle
Chimera - Perreault - Fehr
 
Hillen - Oleksy
Alzner - Green
Erskine - Carlson
 
Holtby
Neuvirth
 

Coach’s Coaching

Jets

Stay out of the box
The Caps power play is a juggernaut. The Jets penalty kill is…. not a juggernaut. Spending time in the penalty box is a sure way to throw this game away.
 
Contain Ovie
Easier said than done. Ovechkin has been an absolute monster over the last 20 games. Heck, he leads the NHL with 30 goals, and has 7 points in his last four games. Good thing he’s washed up.
 

Caps

Score Early
Coming off of an intense win last night, the Jets are going to need to come in with a lot of energy and desire to silence the crowd. Scoring early will not only get the crowd going, but it will plant that seed of doubt in the Jets minds that is sure to slow their legs.
 
Line Match Well
I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but the Jets are injury-rattled right now. Use your home ice advantage to your benefit and make the support guys of the Jets win this game against your scorers.
 

Games to Watch

They don’t play tonight, but it is worth mentioning how big the Sens loss was last night. With three games left Ottawa plays Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston to close out the season which really opens up an opportunity for them to fall out of the top eight.
 
NY Islanders @ Carolina
The Islanders have a pretty easy road from here on out, but the Jets do hold the ROW tiebreaker between the two teams. They are still within reach and could collapse, so hope for Carolina to play a major spoiler role.
 
NY Rangers @ Florida
Last time we prayed for the Panthers they got ripped by this Rangers team 6-1. The Rangers have the benefit of getting their swagger back over this last stretch of games against some pretty bad teams, and I really do not think they are going to fall off. That being said, they are still only a point up on the Jets, so we can always hope for a miracle.

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I write things, you read them. Then tend to yell at me for them. It's okay though, I'm from Winnipeg. I can take it. If you actually do like what I write, give me a twitter follow here (@thrubeniuk): https://twitter.com/thrubeniuk
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#1 Brett Martin
April 24 2013, 03:40PM
Trash it!
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Well that game sucked ass.

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