Game #33 Vs. Tampa Bay: Opportunities

Tampa Bay Lightning (13-17-1) @
Your Winnipeg Jets (16-14-2)
Last Meeting:
March 7th, Jets 2 – Tampa 1
TV: TSN Jets
Puck Drop: 7:00 (CT)


Opportunities. Throughout the span of an NHL season, a team will be provided with a plethora of opportunities. In a normal 82 game season, it is quite important to take advantage of such opportunities if you want to make the playoffs. In a 48 game season? It becomes absolutely vital. For the second time this season the Jets spoiled an opportunity to really take hold of the Southeast Division and prove to everyone that they belong in the playoffs, and in doing so have provided an opportunity for Carolina to swoop right back in over the next week and take back that control.  Today is another opportunity to make that task just a little bit harder awaits the Jets at the MTS Centre tonight.

In fact if there was a team the Jets would want to face right now, it may just be the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Bolts fired head coach Guy Boucher this morning, a result of an absolute plummet down the Eastern Conference standings. They have gone 4-6-0 in their last ten, have lost two straight games including a matchup yesterday afternoon in Ottawa, and are without superstar Vincent Lecavalier and other forwards Ryan Malone and Benoit Pouliot.

The Jets have been less than impressive at home this season, but do have the chance to finish 2-2 on this latest home stand despite the two atrocities against Washington. The good news? The last time the Jets put up an absolute stinker and played Tampa, they kicked off a 6-1-1 streak and started to look like a playoff team again.

By The Numbers




5×5 GF/60

3.1 (2nd)

2.3 (19th)

5×5 GA/60

2.9 (27th)

2.7 (23rd)

Goals by Period

29 – 25 – 46

18 – 31 – 28

Fenwick (5×5 Close)

44.17 (29th)

50.49 (16th)










23.8% (7th)

11.5% (25th)

14.3% (25th)

13.0% (22nd)


85.4% (11th)

80.4% (15th)

80.0% (20th)

76.3% (25th)

Top Scorer

Steven Stamkos

16GP: 12-11-23

Martin St. Louis

15GP: 4-14-18

Andrew Ladd

15GP: 8-7-15

Andrew Ladd

17GP: 6-10-16

Projected Lineups

Winnipeg Jets

Ladd – Little – Wheeler
Kane – Jokinen – Miettinen
Thorburn – Wellwood – Antropov
Cormier – Burmistrov – Tangradi
Enstrom – Byfuglien
Clitsome – Bogosian
Postma – Meech
Enstrom draws back in tonight which will hopefully see an improvement to Byfuglien’s game. Stuart and Hainsey both appear to be out tonight due to injury, which will surely make the Hainsey-Haters jump with joy. It will thought give the Jets management a look at the boys without Hainsey against one of the highest scoring teams in the league, which could be a preview of the D-men after the trade deadline. James Wright has been placed on IR which may further open the door for Cormier to try to show he can do something at the NHL level. It’s somewhat surprising to see Pavelec draw in again, as Montoya is back and Pav does need a break at some point. That being said, it is a big game which makes it difficult for Coach Noel to go with his backup.

Tampa Bay Lightning

St. Louis – Conacher – Stamkos
Palat – Johnson – Panik
Purcell – Pyatt – Killorn
Crombeen – Tyrell – Thompson
Salo – Hedman
Brewer – Carle
Aulie – Gudas
Lindback/Garon (Game Time Decision)

Coach’s Coaching


Show Up
It really shouldn’t have to be said, but the Jets have been completely absent over the last two games. Word from Coach Noel this morning is that the team is fired up, so hopefully they can come out and give the crowd what they deserve.
Contain Stamkos
The kid is a scoring machine. Odds are you won’t keep him off the scoresheet, but the Jets need to do their best to limit the damage he does if they want to win.


Score Early
Despite sitting 3rd in the Eastern Conference, the Jets are a fragile team at the moment. If the Bolts can get on them early, the crowd is likely to turn on them. If you can get two in the first, things are likely to head into a downward spiral quickly.
Don’t Engage Physically
The Jets are a different team when they are angry. Should they come out a little flat, simply do not engage them. Let them take penalties and end it for themselves. If you start chipping back and allow players like Ladd and Kane to get their physical game going, this team turns into a whole new monster.