It’s not October yet (seriously, stop asking) but it is “ticket draft” season.
Since the Jets return, groups of people have gone in together to afford a pair (or more) of season tickets and once again it’s the time of year where people who are in a group-buy for Jets season tickets start planning and drafting which of the 42 home dates they will be seeing this season.
Not certain what home games you should be trying to nail down? Here are the five games you may want to spend your first five picks on..
#5 – Feb 11 – New York Rangers
“Return Of The Pavs”
Will Ondrej Pavelec get the start against his old mates when the Jets and Rangers meet for the first of two meetings between the clubs? It’ll be hard to say if Pavs gets the call for the Rangers this night. The Rangers will be in the middle of a brutal stretch of three weeks where they play a game every other night so they may be leaning heavily on Henrik Lundqvist, but there is no doubt Pavelec will at the very least get a response from the Winnipeg faithful in the pre-game warm up and there is potential for a funny chant or two directed his way.
#4 – Dec 1 – Vegas Golden Knights
“Viva Las Vegas”
The Jets will have already have paid a visit to Sin City on November 10 and this will be the second of four meetings on the season between the clubs. This is also Winnipeg’s first look at the new kids on the block and should be – at the risk of really jinxing things here – a notch in the W column for Winnipeg as the dynamic Jets offense should skate circles around a defense that looks less than inspiring.
#3 – Oct 29 – Pittsburgh Penguins
“The Champs Are Here, The Champs Are Here”
The Penguins have had a bit of a rough summer with a number of departures leaving a big hit to their overall depth. Chris Kunitz, Nick Bonino and Trevor Daley have all left, not to mention the most noted departure being goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Still, the Pens boast ridiculous top end talent and still have the best player in the world* leading them. This will be a great test for the Jets to see where they rank early in the season.
(*=For at least another year or so until McDavid really takes over.)
#2 – Apr 7 – Chicago Blackhawks
“Clinching A Playoff Spot In The Last Game?”
There is zero doubt the Western Conference is going to be a dog fight for playoff positioning and while no one expects the Jets to run away and hide with one of those playoff spots all season, there is an expectation that the Jets should challenge. Sometimes that challenge will take the entire season and won’t be decided until the very last days of the regular season. April 7 is the last Jets game of the 2017-18 regular season and it’s very possible that the Hawks and Jets could be fighting for playoff positioning or even their playoff lives. Of course, there is a chance this could be a ‘mean-nothing’ game as well, in which case… Well let’s not think about that yet..
#1 – Oct 4 – Toronto Maple Leafs
“Opening Night.. AKA ‘Laine v Matthews III'”
If you’re not already a little bit hyped for this game even in the middle of August, you may need to re-evaluate your hockey fandom. Opening night, national stage for two of the best young players in the game, and based on the chirping of fans from both sides, it feels like we’re really on the verge of a pretty good cross-conference rivalry with Hogtown even if the players themselves may not feel that way. One team with high hopes for this coming season is going to start it 0-1, wouldn’t it be nice if it was the guys from “The center of the universe”?