Yesterday’s game for the Winnipeg Jets was what many call a “must win”. Why? Because they’re a team winless since the NHL’s All-Star Break and they went up against the Calgary Flames, a team they’re neck and neck with in the Western Conference for the two Wild Card positions. They failed to accomplish their goal, as Calgary would take a 5-2 victory. Read more about last night’s game in the recap Garret Hohl put together.
The Jets should forget about last night and move on to tonight, where they take on the Canucks in Vancouver for the first time of three meetings this season.
Winnipeg (26-18-8) currently sit in the first Wild Card spot in the West and have a three point lead over Vancouver (27-18-3) who sit in the final Wild Card position.
Like last night, the Jets need to win yet again. They need to turn the ship around, end their slump, and deposit two clean points because the teams chasing them have games in hand; Vancouver has two games in hand, and Calgary has a game in hand. The team cannot afford to lose more games when teams you’re pushing against are also fighting for a playoff spot… especially to the very teams chasing the Jets.
Read more after the jump:
Lines provided by DailyFaceoff.com
The Jets first line was good last night. They got off to a solid start and scored the games first goal, thanks to Blake Wheeler. Wheeler and Bryan Little where the only goal scorers for the Jets last night, while Andrew Ladd assisted two goals. The Jets need to do what they did last night and score first. But this time build the lead and keep it for the full 60 minutes.
Many can place blame on the Jets defence last night, but we did not see a whole lot of contribution from Winnipeg’s forwards, expect for the first line.
Expect to see Ondrej Pavelec in net tonight during the back-to-back. Michael Hutchinson was pulled last night and Pavelec played the remainder of the game. Pavelec has played 32 games this season, posting a record of 12-11-6, with a 2.51 GAA and .911 SV%.
Both Henrik and Daniel Sedin lead the Canucks in points with 41, while Radim Vrbata who has played the majority of the season on the first line, is third in points with 33.
I’ve always enjoyed watching the Canucks and I really enjoy Alexander Edler. Edler has played 48 games this season, averaging 24 minutes a game and currently has 16 points.
With Ryan Miller playing the last seven straight games, Eddie Lack is expected to get the start tonight. Lack has played 14 games this season, posting a 3-6-2 record, 2.61 GAA and .912 SV%
What They’re Saying:
From CanucksArmy’s game day post:
Both the Canucks and Jets have struggled of late. Vancouver is 4-6-0 in their past 10 games, while the Jets goaltending has gone cold, causing them to drop 4 consecutive contests. Winnipeg is still holding down the 4th place spot in the Central, have a bit more separation between themselves and the onrushing Stars and Kings than Vancouver does, and look primed to pull out of this short skid soon. The Canucks are in a more precarious position, as a loss tonight coupled with a Kings win over Washington and a Stars win over Colorado will leave Vancouver with just a one-point lead on the second Wild Card spot in the West.
Game Day Predictions: The Jets will rebound tonight and score three goals to win 3-2.
Obvious Predictions: The Jets top line will get the job done tonight and lead the charge offensively.
Not So Obvious Predictions: Luca Sbisa will score a goal… on his own net.