JGD 5: Jets take on the Flames at home opener

The Jets come home for the first time this season, hosting the Calgary Flames tonight at the MTS Centre.

Winnipeg has started the season well: three wins and just one loss, to the New York Islanders, on their four game road trip. The Flames have had a less auspicious start to the season, with a 1-2-0 record so far.

Some acknowledgement should go to Michael Frolik’s return to Winnipeg tonight as a Calgary Flame, touched on earlier today at Jets Nation. Unsurprisingly, he says he very much would like to score a goal against his former team, and his close friend Ondrej Pavelec.

Nothing against Frolik, but here’s hoping he goes home disappointed.

LINEUPS

Lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff 

WINNIPEG JETS

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Defence pairings

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Ondrej Pavelec will be back in net for the Jets tonight, despite Hutchinson’s excellent showing against the Rangers earlier this week.

OPPOSITION

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Defence pairings

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Karri Ramo will start for the Flames tonight. 

The Calgary goaltending situation has been messy to start the year: Jonas Hiller seemed to have fallen out of favour next to Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio, and rumours had Hiller on the trade block. But Ramo opened the season by allowing 5 goals on 39 shots, and the Flames went back to Hiller for the two following games. Tonight is a big start for Ramo if he is going to get that 1A spot in the Calgary crease.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Our friends over at Flames Nation have been discussing Keegan Kanzig’s return and the domino effect it has on their defensive depth.

The Flames presently have 22 roster players and six healthy defensemen. Per Brad Treliving’s media availability today, Ladislav Smid is “knocking on the door” for a return to action – potentially for his first game action since January 19. When Smid does return, he’ll have not played a game for NINE MONTHS, which makes him a prime candidate for a two-week conditioning stint in the American Hockey League.

PREDICTIONS

Game Day Prediction: Jets come out strong at home, and take it to the Flames. Both goaltenders let in a soft goal or two. 4-2 Jets.

Obvious Prediction: Michael Frolik’s homecoming will be… underwhelming. He’ll be good, as he was in Winnipeg. He won’t steal the show.

Not So Obvious Prediction: Nic Petan breakout night. At least one goal.