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Ezzy’s Top 10 Jets games to look forward to this season

Looking ahead to our top 10 Jets games of the season.

Are you starving for hockey? Do you have a season ticket draft coming up?

MTS Centre (2)

Well don’t worry because we are here to help you out.

With the 2015’16 NHL Regular Season rapidly approaching, I have decided to revive a piece that Dave and I put together back in 2011 and 2012 but haven’t done in a couple of years. It’s our widely acclaimed Top 10 Jets games to look forward to this season.

Without further ado, here it is….

Ezzy’s Top 10

10. Friday, October 23rd, 2015- Lightning at Jets

This will be just the third regular season home game of the year for the Jets and comes against last year’s Eastern Conference Champions. Any time Steven Stamkos comes to town you know Jets fans will be extra excited but this Lightning team is now established as an elite group, boasting speedy forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov along with superstar defenseman Victor Hedman. The Jets have had some close games with the Lightning in years past and seem to always match up well against this highly skilled team.

9. Thursday, December 31st, 2015- Jets at Coyotes

This year’s New Year’s Eve game is on the road for a change and comes against the rebuilding Coyotes. The Jets will be the overwhelming favourite in this match-up and there will surely be a large contingent of Jets fans who will make the trek down to Glendale from Winnipeg for this game. Remember, the Jets opened last season with a 6-2 win in Arizona to start the regular season so this team is clearly comfortable playing in Gila River Arena. Maybe it has something to do with the fact the Coyotes aren’t scaring many teams these days.

8. Thursday, October 29th, 2015- Blackhawks at Jets

October 29th will be the first of five meetings between the defending Stanley Cup Champions and the Jets (including three games at MTS Centre) and will surely be a game that is circled on the calendars of many fans. Hawks Captain (and Winnipeg native) Jonathan Toews is worth the price of admission alone and 2014’15 Conn Smythe Trophy winning defenseman Duncan Keith is no slouch either. The Jets and Hawks have developed a great divisional rivalry over the years.

Photo Credit: Rodney Braun

Photo Credit: Rodney Braun

7. Friday, October 16th,2015 – Flames at Jets

It’s the 2015’16 regular season home opener and the return of Michael Frolik as a member of a different team. It’s also a game between two young teams who surprised many by making the playoffs last year and who will be aiming to prove that they are for real again this year. The Flames and Jets have many similarities and many fans were upset that Frolik chose to sign with the Flames over the Jets. Throw in the fact that this game is on a Friday night and the first game of a six-game home stand and the MTS Centre should be rockin’ that night.

6. Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015- Maple Leafs at Jets

Any time an Original Six team comes into Winnipeg is special but the Toronto Maple Leafs always seem to bring out the best in Jets fans. Think back to Season 1 of Jets 2.0 when the Jets and Leafs played on New Year’s Eve. The Jets defeated the Leafs 3-2 in a game which was remembered for being one the loudest of that first season and represented heavily by fans wearing Leafs jerseys. Toronto might be in the beginning of a major rebuild but this will still be one of the hottest tickets of the year.

5. Saturday, October 31st- Jets at Blue Jackets

You might be wondering why I put this game on my list and I will tell you why. It’s fairly obvious that the Columbus Blue Jackets are going to be an improved team this year with the acquisition of recent Stanley Cup champion Brandon Saad from the Chicago Blackhawks. However the reason this game makes my list is because not only does it fall on Halloween on a Saturday night but it is the first game of a back-to-back set that sees the Jets play the Canadiens the following night. The Jets outscored the Blue Jackets 8-2 last year, winning both games, but it most likely won’t be that easy this time around.

4. Sunday, January 3rd, 2016- Jets at Ducks

On January 3, 2016, the Jets will play the Anaheim Ducks for the first since they were swept by them in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs back in April. Despite not winning a single playoff game, the Jets showed they could skate with the Ducks as they led for the majority of the first three games of the series. This game will also be important as it comes in the middle of a five game American road trip which starts December 31st against Arizona and ends January 7th against Dallas.

Photo Credit: Rodney Braun

Photo Credit: Rodney Braun

3. Sunday, March 6th, 2016- Oilers at Jets

This game will be the regular season debut of 2015 1st overall draft pick Connor McDavid in Winnipeg and that alone will make this one of the biggest games of the season at MTS Centre. When the Oilers won the Draft Lottery and eventually selected McDavid, their fortunes instantly changed as he is widely considered to be the best prospect since some guy named Sidney Crosby. Throw in a national TV audience and the fact that this game will be at a time when the Jets will be battling for a playoff spot and yeah it should be a pretty good one.

2. Sunday, April 3rd, 2016- Wild at Jets

This will be the last regular season home game of the year for the Jets as they will finish the season with three road games in California. The Wild are one of the Jets biggest rivals and always seem to play them close which was evidenced last season when four of the five games between the two teams were decided by one goal (The Jets won three of those games). Knowing these two teams there is a very good chance that this game will have playoff implications and will be another hard fought affair

1. Sunday, January 10th, 2016- Sabres at Jets

Finally, we arrive at Number 1 and to no one’s surprise it’s the game that features the return of Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian to the City of Winnipeg. It seems like it was an eternity ago but in fact it was on February 11, 2015 that the Jets and Sabres completed the blockbuster deal that sent Kane and Bogosian to Buffalo in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Brendan Lemieux, Joel Armia and a 1st round draft pick. This game promises to be a classic as there will probably be a few fans who will be waiting to “welcome” the boys back to town.

Kane as a member of the Sabres

What do you think? Do you like my choices? Let us know in the comments section below….