Game Day Preview: Jets @ Canucks

Posted by Ezra Ginsburg in Game Previews,Winnipeg Jets on March 8, 2012 — No Comments

When: Thursday, March 8, 2012

Time: 9:00 p.m. CST

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia

Records: Winnipeg Jets (32-27-8), Vancouver Canucks (41-18-8)

Television/Radio: TSN-JETS,SNET-P (HD)/ TSN 1290 Radio

The Story: So, how exactly was the West won again?

It’s time for the Winnipeg Jets to find out as they will hit British Columbia and Alberta for two games in two nights starting with a game tonight against the Vancouver Canucks and followed by a date with the Calgary Flames on Friday.

The Jets haven’t played since Monday’s 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres,  which capped an eight game, 17-day home stand for the hockey club. Winnipeg finished the long stretch at home with an overall record of 5-1-2, which included wins over the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Sabres.

After 67 games, the Jets hold down the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 72 points, two points ahead of the 9th place Washington Capitals and 10th place Buffalo Sabres.

Including tonight, the Jets have nine games remaining on the road and six games remaining at home. After Friday’s game against the Flames, the Jets will have a much-deserved four day break before a three-game stretch at home that will feature games against the Dallas Stars (March 14th), Washington Capitals (March 16th) and Carolina Hurricanes (March 18th).

The Canucks have been one of the hottest team in the National Hockey League since the All-Star Break in January and are currently in 2nd place in the Western Conference with 90 points, one point behind the St.Louis Blues.

Relatively healthy going into the final stretch, the Canucks are led by the spectacular Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, who are once again near the top of the individual points race with 66 and 64 points respectively.

Tonight’s game will feature no less than 11 players who played for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (Cory Schneider, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo, Chris Tanev, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond, Alex Edler, Aaron Rome, Jannik Hansen and Aaron Volpatti).

This is the only meeting between the Jets and Canucks this season.

Ondrej Pavelec is expected to get his fourth consecutive start in goal for the Jets tonight.

Projected Jets line combinations:

Goalie:

Ondrej Pavelec

Forwards:

1st: Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler

2nd:  Evander Kane- Alexander Burmistrov- Kyle Wellwood

3rd:  Tanner Glass- Jim Slater- Chris Thorburn

4th:  Tim Stapleton- Nikolai Antropov -Antti Miettinen

Defence:

Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom

Ron Hainsey-Grant Clitsome

Randy Jones-Mark Stuart

Offensive Leaders:

Vancouver Canucks: Henrik Sedin (13 goals, 53 assists, 66 points), Daniel Sedin (28 goals, 36 assists, 64 points), Alexandre Burrows (23 goals, 21 assists, 44 points), Ryan Kesler (19 goals, 25 assists, 44 points)

Winnipeg JetsBlake Wheeler (15 goals, 39 assists, 54 points), Evander Kane (26 goals, 20 assists, 46 points), Dustin Byfuglien (10 goals, 32 assists, 42 points)

Injury Report:

Vancouver Canucks: Keith Ballard (upper-body), Andrew Ebbett (shoulder), Aaron Volpatti (shoulder),

Winnipeg Jets:  Zach Bogosian (upper-body)

Who’s Next: The Jets next game is on Friday, March 9th, on the road, against the Calgary Flames (8:00 p.m. CST).

QUICKIES….. Join The Illegal Curve Crew at The Cheer Bar & Grill (corner of Osborne and Stradbrook) for tonight’s Jets/Canucks game….Evander Kane’s eight-game points streak ended against the Sabres on Monday night. Kane had 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points during the streak…..