April 25 2013 11:58AM
After a wild year of ups-and-downs, it all comes to this. Tonight features the 48th and final game of the Regular Season for your Winnipeg Jets. It's pretty simple at this point. Win, and there could be a playoff spot, a potential return of the Whiteout, and maybe (probably) even a Stanley Cup.
Lose, and it's all over. Lose, and there's no playoffs, no White Noise, no 3rd Cup for Andrew Ladd just yet. Even worse, we'll be doubly subjected to the insufferable Maple Leaf fanbase going head-over-heels about the fact that the richest team in professional Hockey finally made it back to the playoffs after 9 years, a time so long ago that there wasn't even a facebook or a twitter for them to prattle on about their medicority with. As you can see, the situation is dire - a Win has never been so important.
So tonight, one way or the other, Jets fans say goodbye to the 2013 NHL regular season, and what a (brief) year it's been. At times this year, the Jets have looked legitimately like both Divison Champion material and last overall finishers. They've been a perfect metaphor of their road schedule - all over the map. Although a win tonight doesn't gurantee JetsNation anything other than becoming Anti-Ranger and Senator fans for the rest of the week, it would be awfully nice to end the season on a good note, and say goodbye to the Southeast Divison era with a victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Numbers to chew on:
24-20-3 = 51 points. 9th Eastern Conference. 2nd Southeast Division
PP%: 14.0 - PK%: 79.8
GF: 126 - GA: 140
Notes and Trash Talk...Every team goes through injuries, but what the Jets have been through this year is borderline obscene. Tobias Enstrom and Zach Bogosian, arguably their 2 best defenders, have missed vast amounts of time. And they've been decimated down the middle injuries to Jim Slater, Nik Antropov, and now, Olli Jokinen and Kyle Wellwood. It's been impressive that a team that's had to rely so heavily on the Grant Clitsome's and James Wright's of the world can remain in playoff contention...Somehow, the dastardly Canadiens hold a 2-0 lead in the Season series...Who will win the Jets Regular season Goal race? Ladd and Wheeler are tied with 18, while Kane has 17. Will one of them jump ahead? Will it finish a tie? Will Ron Hainsey turn in a 19 goal performance to win? We'll find out soon enough...Unless Chris Thorburn goes on a major spearing attack, expect Evander Kane to finish the season leading the team in penalty minutes...Want some good news? The Jets hold the tie-breaker advantage with Ottawa and New York, should they finish tied.
Numbers to chew on:
27-14-5 = 59 Points. 4th Eastern Conference. 2nd Northeast Division
PP%:21.2 - PK%:79.3
GF: 141 - GA: 123
Notes and Trash Talk...Currently missing for Montreal are Alexei Emelin (knee) and Ryan White (Suspended)...The Habs have gone full-suck since they clinched a playoff spot, going 1-5-0. Here's hoping the Jets add to their woes...Montreal is technically tied with Boston for 1st in their division, but the Bruins have a game in hand, plus a game against Tampa Bay, so expect Montreal to finish up 4th in the East...I really don't care about the Canadiens at all, and writing about them is a chore. So, long story short, there's a pregnant dog in my house. If anyone wants puppies, there will be some available in a few weeks. She's a daschund / chiuhauhua mix, but we don't know what kind of puppies they'll be, because frankly, dogs are kinda whores that way. Anyways, if you're looking for a for a mystery puppy, I can potentially hook you up.
Game time is 7:00pm Winnipeg time, which wil also be 7:00pm in Villavicencio, Columbia and Quito, Ecuador. Big Jets fans out that way, I'm sure. The game is on TSN Jets, RDS, and available online for free at TSN Jets.
For scoreboard watching, Ottawa is in Washington to play those dirty, rotten Capitals, while the Rangers are in Carolina. I'd expect Washington to continue to roll, and hope to hell that Carolina revels in their chance to play spolier.
And remember, no defecating on top of the toilet.
5 Predictions to gamble scads of money on:
- There will be some obnoxious Montreal fans at the game, and they'll start doing their "Ole" chant with the kind of smugness that suggests they invented singing in public.
- Chris Thorburn will not be the #1 star of the game, nor will Rene Bourque.
- Ondrej Pavelec will blow our minds both with a great save and a terrrrrrible goal.
- BIG GAME CANDIDATE: Andrew Ladd. While I'm at it, I'll predict that the Oceans tides will vary throughout the day. The Captain has been the best Jet by far this year, and he's truly become that special kind of player you can rely on to show up in a big game. He may not get the most goals tonight - though he might very well - but his presence will be noticable all over the ice tonight.
- Anyone that tries to call me during the game will not be successful in reaching me.
Wrapping it up
It's as big, and simple, as it gets. Why I bothered to use so many words up to this point is a beyond me. Here it is:
WIN = FEEL GOOD
WIN + NYR(2 games remaining) AND/OR OTTAWA(3 games remaining) GET 1 POINT OR LESS IN LAST GAMES = PLAYOFFS!!!!!!
LOSE = GO BLUE BOMBERS GO!!!
Remember to find us on Twitter at @nhljetsnation during the game. We'll be happy to respond and engage in trash talk.