Philadelphia Flyers 32-19-7, 71 pts
Winnipeg Jets 29-26-6, 64 pts
6:00pm MTS Centre
Winnipeg is on the cusp of something special. You can feel it in the air. The teams knows it, the management knows it and the fans you can bet your bottom dollar they know it. A win tonight and the Jets move into sole possession of 1st place in the Southeast and the 3rd overall seed in the conference. Now keep in mind Florida has 4 games in hand but the sheer symbolism of this moment shouldn’t be over looked. Just a month ago the Free Press was saying they Jets should just give up on the season and start selling off assets. Good thing Chevy doesn’t take his advice from Gary Lawless.
CONTROL THE NEUTRAL ZONE
One of the reasons for the Jets resurgence has been their ability to control the puck in the neutral zone. The Jets have had to rely less on dumping the puck in and have been able to carry the puck in and maintain possession. When you dump it in you are pretty much just hoping that the other team’s D will make a mistake. When you carry the puck in you control your own destiny. You set the pace of the play and dictate the terms. The Jets have big, fast forwards who are able to move the puck very well. There is a time to dump and chase but the Jets seem to have more success when they do the opposite.
Last few games its been evident that teams are targeting Evander Kane. They are going out of their way to give him an extra shot. I think they figure that he’s just coming off a concussion and might not be 100%. After getting cheap shot after cheap shot last game Kane sent a message. He took a legal hit and just lost it. The Av’s announcers were incredulous as Kane just jumped the Av’s player and rained down a barrage of blows. Kane got lucky and took a double minor but more importantly he sent a message to the other team that he’s not going to let guys push him around. Now I don’t like the idea of the young star fighting his own battles but I do respect Kane for taking care of the problem. I think that other teams will have gotten the message and will leave the young star alone.
EYE ON THE PRIZE
While they have had some success the Jets can’t get ahead of themselves. Yes they are in a great position but as we know things can change in a week. One team gets hot while another struggles and the playoff picture looks a lot different. Just last week it looked like Florida was going to walk away with it. Well now they are having their troubles and its Winnipeg’s turn in the spotlight. The Jets just need to keep winning and they control their own fate. A win tonight will start to put distance between them and the teams they are battling for a playoff birth. As a fan base we must realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint. We mustn’t make the mistakes of other fan bases like Toronto or Montreal and plan the Stanley Cup parade at the first sign of success.
Category: Jets News