Buffalo Sabres 30-27-8, 68 pts
Winnipeg Jets 31-27-8, 70 pts
7pm MTS Centre
I will give a shiny one dollar bill to anyone who when the season started predicted that this game would be huge and have playoff implications for both teams. The Jets went into the weekend with a lot of people expecting them to be in 9th place by the time monday rolled around since Washington were playing 2 of their games in hand. Well the weekend has ended and the Jets are still in 8th and only 4 points behind Florida. There has been too much emphesis on this games in hand notion. You have to win them, you just don’t automatically get the points. Washington and Florida are both teams that have flaws and there are no gimmie games in the NHL this season. As long as the Jets can keep winning they will make the playoffs. Tonight they face the super hot Sabres who have won 3 in a row. No streak in safe at the MTS Centre though and I expect the crowd to be going crazy now that the playoffs are in sight.
The only reason Buffalo is back in the mix is because of the play of their all everything goalie Ryan Miller. To think there were people pushing the Sabres to trade him at the deadline. Just goes to show you that Winnipeg doesn’t corner the market on shortsighted media. The Jets will need to figure out a way to solve Miller if they hope to put some distance between themselves and the pack while gaining on Florida. The way to do that is to put traffic infront of the American goalie. The Jets have had a lot of success by using their size to screen the other teams goalie. They will need all the traffic they can get tonight as Miller has been playing almost as good as Pav.
KEEP UP THE PACE
Florida didn’t hand the game to the Jets on Thursday, Winnipeg earned it. It was a close game going into the 3rd and then the Jets went for the throat. It was nice to see them display some killer instinct for a change. Too many times this season this team just tries to play it safe in the 3rd. That wasn’t the case against the Panthers. The Jets had them on the ropes and delivered a knockout punch. They sent a message that this team isn’t to be messed with and that their place in the standings is no fluke.
After this game the Jets will play the majority of their games on the road. To make the playoffs they need to find a way to win away from MTSC. A good way to start will be with a win tonight. So far on this homestand the Jets are 4-1-2 for a possible 10 pts out of 16. A win tonight will give them 12 points on this home stand and that will set the mark for the rest of the season. There is no margin for error anymore with 6 teams in contention for 2 playoff spots (maybe 3 if Ottawa tanks). The Jets are in the driver’s seat no matter what the “experts want to say. Keep winning and they are in its that simple. The Jets have 16 games left and will need to get at least 10 wins to make the post season. Tough but not out of the question with how this team has played as of late.
Category: Jets News