Washington Capitals 10-5-1 21pts
Winnipeg Jets 6-9-3 15pts
7:30pm MTS Centre
One of the best parts about having the NHL back is that Winnipeg Fans get to watch the NHL’s best live. Tonight the Capitals come to town with their Russian Superstar Alexander Ovechkin. The Jets are coming off of their best game of the season. For the first time they played a complete 60 minutes yet there was a sour note to the win. Zach Bogosian was injured and is not expected in the lineup tonight. This is a giant blow to the Jets since Bogosian has really developed into a solid D man. His turnovers and mistakes has been fewer and he’s being smarter about the shots he takes on net.
SHUT DOWN OVECHKIN
He’s one of the best players in the NHL who at times can seem unstoppable yet there is a way. Speed and lots of it. The Jets need to try and match Oveckin straide for stride. If he is given space he will kill you so the plan must be to have someone shadow him all game. Stay close, make him feel uncomfortable and get him frustrated. When Ovechkin is frustrated he takes stupid penalties and tries to do it all himself. I know it sounds weird but the Jet must shut down Ovechkin by taking his team mates away. They must make him try and do everything himself. When a team is one dimensional they are easier to shut down.
KEEP DOING WHATEVER YOU DID
One of the things the Jets did well the other night was to get pucks in deep and forecheck hard. This strategy will work against most teams and against the Capitals its no exception. The Caps play a high flying game that starts with their breakout. Take that away and their offense grinds to a halt. The Jets need to maintain an agressive forecheck throughout the game. By punishing their D early it will open up the game later on. One thing that has impressed me with the Jets is their ability to get the puck down low. To do this the jets have two forecheckers on the puck. This is a high risk high reward style that the Jets have been able to employ effectively so far this season.
BEND NOT BREAK
The Caps are going to get their chances. They have too much talent to be denied. The trick will be to not succumb to the immense amount of offensive pressure they will try to apply. Against the Bolts the Jets did a fantastic job blocking shots and the ones that to through Pavelec was able to stop. Blocking shots is demoralizing for the other team. They will get frustrated and start rushing their chances thus diminishing their chance for success. The one thing the Jets can’t do is just sit back and let the Caps set up. If you give this team too much time they will make you pay. As the forecheck must be agressive so must the back check. The puck carrier must always have a man on him . Lets try and make them earn their goals. No free shots.
Category: Jets News