Entering enemy territory, the Winnipeg Jets are ready for the challenge: round 1 game 3 game day

Photo credit:© Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 hour ago
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It’s game day, Jets fans! Game 3 in the Winnipeg Jets round 1 matchup against the Colorado Avalanche is coming up tonight, with the series currently tied at 1. I’m excited for this one, because now that it’s 2 games into the series you start to get a feeling for how the teams will approach the rest of the series. I could go on and on about what each team has done well and what they need to improve on for this game, but it’s best to just wait and see if both teams can actually execute their desired gameplans.
The biggest question for game 3 for the Jets that has been asked repeatedly over the past couple of days is can they find their defensive structure that we saw during the regular season? It’s a tough thing to observe, but one thing the Avalanche do well that the Jets need to limit is the speedy puck movement in the Jets end. Another thing which the Jets players have been asked is how they are going to be able to limit high danger scoring chances. Hellebuyck has some pressure already on him to have a great performance in game 3, but the team in front of him needs to help out too whenever possible.
Tonight we’ll see the first lineup change for the Winnipeg Jets. It’s been reported, and since confirmed that Nate Schmidt will slot in for Logan Stanley. Schmidt will play on the 3rd pairing with Dylan Samberg. Schmidt brings a solid amount of playoff experience for the team, appearing in 73 playoff games in his career. Look for Schmidt out there tonight, as he tries to make an impact whenever he can, as he’ll want to show what he can do to possibly stay in the lineup going forward.
One big concern for the Jets will be dealing with the Avalanche fans at Ball Arena. It’s not a secret anymore, the Avalanche were the top team at home during the regular season, going 31-9-1. The Jets did provide 2 of those regulation losses though, so they have experience performing well in this arena. It’s the playoffs though, so they’ll need to be even better if they want to succeed away from home.
Mark Scheifele spoke to the media before game 3 about the challenge of playing a team that’s been elite at home all season, and he said
“We know we have the confidence in how we’ve played in this building and how we’ve felt. Obviously we’re still going up against a good team, and obviously it’s going to be a different animal in the playoffs. We’re excited to take that challenge in stride and obviously we know it’s going to be a great atmosphere out there, so we’re looking forward to it.”
It could be also beneficial that the Jets have had almost 2 full days in Colorado before game 3 tonight. Having an extra day would get them more comfortable with the altitude and the arena itself. The Jets know what adjustments they have to make going in to game 3, so it’ll just be a matter of executing their game plan. That’s really what it’ll come down to, so we’ll see if they can follow through on what they’ve been saying they need to do ever since the end of game 2.
There’s been a combined total of 20 goals in these first 2 games of the series. Just like before game 2, it’s tough to know if it’ll be another high scoring game or if it’ll be more defensive minded. Either way, I’m just as excited as you probably are for game 3, and it should be another great game between these divisional rivals.
You won’t need to wait much longer now too, as puck drop is coming up at 9 PM CT… Go Jets Go!
Jets projected lineup
Connor – Scheifele – Vilardi
Ehlers – Monahan – Toffoli
Niederreiter – Lowry – Appleton
Gustafsson – Namestnikov – Iafallo
Morrissey – DeMelo
Dillon – Pionk
Samberg – Schmidt


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