The Winnipeg Jets (20-23-5) got back in the win column in a big way in their last game, and they will look to turn their recent losing streak in the other direction when they face the Calgary Flames (16-25-6) on Thursday night.
The Jets ended their season-long five-game losing streak against the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday, with a 5-1 victory at home. The Flames, however, are going the other way, with four straight losses coming in, and only one win in their last eight games. The Flames won the first of three meetings this season on November 18th, in a 5-4 shootout win. All-time, the Jets are winless against Calgary, with a 0-1-1 record.
In goal for the Jets will be starter Ondrej Pavelec, who redeemed himself with a great performance on Monday. Pavelec has a .899% save percentage and a 3.08 GAA in 36 games this season. The Flames will go back to Reto Berra, who sat in favour of Kari Ramo for the past two games. Berra has a matching .899% save percentage, coupled with a slightly better GAA of 3.03 in 20 games this season. Berra was in net when the Flames beat the Jets earlier this season.
The Jets expect to get sniper Evander Kane back in the lineup, after he missed the team’s past two games with a hand injury. On Winnipeg’s Injured Reserve are Jim Slater (hernia), Paul Postma (blood clot), Grant Clitsome (back) and Matt Halischuk (broken arm). The Flames will be without the services of David Jones (eye), who is day-to-day, but showing no progress in his recovery. On the Flames’ IR are Kris Russel (knee), Curtis Glencross (ankle), and Blair Jones (meniscus).
The Jets shut down one of the best teams in the Pacific division in the Coyotes in their last game, so a repeat performance would ease the rough waters that Winnipeg’s fan base currently floats on. Consistency from Pavelec, Blake Wheeler, and young guns such as Jacob Trouba would be a huge confidence boost for the club as they make a last-ditch effort at the playoffs.
Paul Maurice had a spotless first game as the Jets’ new head coach, so only minor changes should take place regarding the roster. The Jets’ power-play could use some modification, as they only scored one time on eight chances against the ‘Yotes.
The Jets are 9-13-1 on the road this season, while Calgary has a equally bad 7-13-3 record at home. The Flames are 8-17-2 against Western Conference, while Winnipeg has a 9-14-4 record in that department.
You can see Thursday’s game on TSN Jets, or listen live on TSN 1290 Radio. Non-regional viewers can watch the game on Sportsnet-Flames.
Thanks for reading. For more Winnipeg Jets conversation and live game updates follow us on twitter @hkyattheforks. For a Flames Perspective on the upcoming game, head over to our friends at flameforthought.com