For the first time since 1996 and their move to Phoenix the Winnipeg Jets are in town to play a regular season game versus your Vancouver Canucks. Apparently Schneider gets tonights game. A couple of ex-Nucks, Tanner Glass and Pudge Wellwood are expected to be in the Winnipeg line up.
EXCERPT:Just another inter-conference one-night-only engagement; the two franchises have met twice in a season only once, way back in 2000-01. It's been mostly Canucks since the Thrashers/Jets entered the League in 1999-2000, Vancouver putting together an 8-2-1-1 record and winning five of the last six meetings. It will, however, be the first time the two cities fielded teams against each other since Feb. 21, 1996 at old Winnipeg Arena, a 5-3 Canucks victory.
While the Canucks run neck-and-neck with the Blues and Red Wings for the top seed in the West, the Jets have been trying to solidify their playoff position, currently in the eighth slot two points ahead of the Capitals. A 5-1-2 homestand definitely helped hold off any challengers, but now they have to run a western gauntlet through powerful Vancouver and desperate Calgary.
INJURIES:Zach Bogosian has been out since last Thursday with a lower-body injury. … Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard (neck, concussion) is not expected back until the playoffs at least.
HOT:Blake Wheeler has 16 points in his last 9 games and a plus-10 rating. He leads the Jets in points, assists and plus-minus. Evander Kane had his eight-game points streak stopped by the Sabres on Monday, which means he now has 7 goals and 15 points in his last nine games. … Kevin Bieksa has 4 assists in his last three games.
THE WINNIPEG ANGLE:It's noise that concerns the Jets right now, as in making their own away from home, according to Dustin Byfuglien, who made the point after Monday's 3-1 win over the Sabres.
"Buff said it's about creating our own noise," Chris Thorburn said in the Winnipeg Free Press. "Obviously we're going into some pretty hostile buildings. We've got to play our game and execute our game plan. We've kind of dumbed things down here. It's baby steps. For a lot of us this is new, being in this kind of a race this late in the season. It's exciting. It's fresh. We're proud to be in this position.
"We've just grown as a team. We've become closer and we're just learning how to win. Whether it's experience or whatever it is, it's worked out well for us. We've developed a lot of team toughness throughout the course of the year. It's gotta show coming up on this road trip."
HISTORY:Part of the upstart World Hockey Association, the Winnipeg Jets made new right away as they signed Chicago Black Hawks star Bobby Hull to a contract that included a then unprecedented $1 million signing bonus. However, when the Jets first took the ice on October 12th in New York against the Raiders the Jets were without Hull who was in court battling his former team over his new contract. The Jets would win that first game nonetheless 6-4. Three days later they would make their home debut losing to the Alberta Oilers 5-2.
Eventually things would come together for Winnipeg as Bobby Hull won his court battle and joined the Jets 15 games into the season. With Hull leading the way, capturing the WHA's first MVP award, while scoring 51 goals the Jets won the Western Division with a solid 43-31-4 record. In the playoffs the Jets would continue to cruise beating the Minnesota Fighting Saints in five games and the Houston Aeros in four straight games to reach the AVCO Cup Finals. However, with the WHA's first championship on the line the Jets would run out of gas as they were beaten by the New England Whalers in five games.
It will be interesting to see how the Jets utilize Byfuglien. Some times Noel let's him roam free and you can find him behind the net while lately he has been much more conservative and only really blasting from the point.
The Jets have a weird set of defense issues in that their points are pressured really easy yet they have a pretty mobile defense group, even with the loss of Oduya. The Canucks could beat the snot out of them on the transition game if they can get that together. The one downside for the Jets is they give up an amazing amount of real estate in front of the net and are often caught chasing players down low- plays right into the Sedin's hands on the cycle game.
They also take a lot of dumb penalties in the later periods too.
I'm thinking a 4-2 win for Canucks unless Pavelec stands on his head.
Brick Top: Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible cunt... me.
Hopefully a couple of ugly losses and a pair of games against Canadian teams gets the boys fired up to play tonight and Saturday. We always seem to play well against eastern Canadian teams, and with only two games next week, the four remaining points up for grabs this week are important in terms of the #1 seed and President's Trophy.
donlever wrote:Regardless we are home and get last change so Noel will have to be on his toes to gt those guys out against the pairing of which we speak.
Yeah, and given AV's propensity to send lines out based on zone starts, we won't see too many shifts where Kane begins with that pairing in its own end. If they're on the ice at same time it'll be off the rush or a change on the fly, which should be fairly limited unless the Canucks are still napping like Tuesday.