Winnipeg Jets 34-31-8, 76 pts
Washington Capitals 37-30-7, 81 pts
6:00pm Verizon Center
This is it. This one game, these 60 minutes played on a sheet of ice will decide if the Jets have a shot at the post season. Win and they are still in the hunt with a game in hand. Lose and then math becomes the Jet’s enemy. Lets be the eternal optimist for a second. The Jets win today and then tomorrow against the Preds. That would leave them one point behind Washington with the same amount of games left. But lets say they Jets drop tonight’s game. That would put them 7pts out of the final playoff spot. Thats why tonight as was last Friday’s game is so important. Win there is hope. Lose and then its all over but the I told you so’s.
Normally I have three keys for the Jets. Not today. Today there is just one simple thing they need to do and thats win. The Caps come off a tough shoot out loss to the Flyers last night. This should work in the Jets advantage. The Caps played hard and played for the win. their stars are going to be tired and the Jets have to take advantage of that.
There are two ways to go. Either you try and pick up the pace and tire them out that way. The disadvantage to that is the last thing you want to do is get into a run and gun game with a team like the caps. The better option is to come out hitting. Play the body, wear them out and force them to make mistakes. The Jets need to avoid getting into a scoring contests with Washington. They need to play a grinding style and just slowly work the Caps. Its the hockey equivalent of boxing’s body blows. The hits you make in the first period will pay dividends in the third. The Caps are going to come out looking for Mark Stuart. The veteran D man needs to play it smart. He shouldn’t stand down but force them to take the extra penalty.
This is a playoff game in a hostile environment. If ever this team was going to step up and prove they have what it takes now is the time. They will need to dig deep and prove they are their own team just not the Thrashers in better jerseys as so many will point out if they do not make the post season. They have to show the hockey world that they are the Winnipeg Jets and they will not be overlooked any longer. No one outside of Winnipeg thinks they can do it but this is not a mountain they have to climb but rather a small hill. Yes it can be steep at times but the path is clear.
Category: Jets News