When: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Time: 5:00 p.m. CST
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Records: Winnipeg Jets (5-7-1 – 14th in East), Boston Bruins (8-2-2 – 5th in East)
Television/Radio: NESN, TSN-JETS/ TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets will be looking to avoid the dreaded home stand zero-for tonight when they host the big bad Boston Bruins at the MTS Centre.
The Jets have dropped two homes game in a row, most recently 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night (the Jets lost 3-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night) so they will simply be looking for two points as they will hit the road for their next five games after today’s contest with Boston.
Winnipeg will be without the services of leading scorer Tobias Enstrom tonight, as he is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury that he suffered in Friday’s contest against Pittsburgh. Look for one of rookie defenceman Paul Postma (12 games, 1 goal, 4 assists) or Grant Clitsome (11 games, 1 goal, 1 assist) to check back into the line-up for the Jets tonight.
The Bruins head into tonight’s contest having picked up points in eight of their last 10 games but they are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Boston is (as they have been for many years) one of the deepest team in the entire National Hockey League. Led by perennial Norris Trophy candidate Zdeno Chara and Selke Trophy Winner Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins are one of the hardest teams to defend against as they roll out four solid lines and dominate you with their size and speed.
Even though it is fairly obvious, the key to tonight’s game very well may be the ability of Winnipeg’s top two defense pairings to shut down Boston’s top two lines. With Enstrom’s injury, Ron Hainsey will move up to the top pairing alongside Dustin Byfuglien, while Mark Stuart will pair up with Zach Bogosian.
Illegal Curve Update: According to Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun, Paul Postma will start for the Jets tonight in place of Tobias Enstrom.
Milan Lucic will not play tonight for the Bruins due to personal reasons. Former New Jersey Devil Jay Pandolfo will make his season debut for the Bruins in his place.
Today’s game is the second of three meetings between the Jets and Bruins this year. The Bruins defeated the Jets 2-1 in a shootout back on January 21st. The third and final meeting of the season will be in Winnipeg on Tuesday, March 19th (6:00 p.m. CST).
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets tonight.
Tuuka Rask is expected to start in goal for the Bruins tonight.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.
Projected Jets line combinations (subject to change* before game time):
*as of Jets skate this morning
1st: Andrew Ladd- Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane- Nikolai Antropov- Alexander Burmistrov
3rd: Eric Tangradi– Olli Jokinen- Kyle Wellwood
4th: James Wright- Jim Slater – Chris Thorburn
Ron Hainsey- Dustin Byfuglien
Zach Bogosian- Mark Stuart
Paul Postma/Grant Clitsome– Zach Redmond
Boston Bruins: David Krejci (4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points), Brad Marchand (7 goals, 1 assist, 8 points), Milan Lucic (3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points)
Winnipeg Jets: Tobias Enstrom (2 goals, 11 assists, 13 points), Andrew Ladd (7 goals, 5 assists, 12 points), Blake Wheeler (7 goals, 4 assists, 11 points)
Boston Bruins: Marc Savard (concussion), Milan Lucic (personal)
Winnipeg Jets: Antti Miettinen (upper body), Al Montoya (lower body), Tobias Enstrom (shoulder)
Who’s Next: The Jets embark on a five games in eight days road trip starting on Tuesday, February 19 (6:00 p.m. CST) versus the Buffalo Sabres. The Jets will also play the Carolina Hurricanes (Thursday, February 21, 6:00 p.m. CST), the Philadelphia Flyers (Saturday, February, 23, 12:00 p.m. CST), the New Jersey Devils (Sunday, February 24, 4:00 p.m. CST) the New York Rangers (Tuesday, February 26, 6:00 p.m. CST)
QUICKIES….. Mark Stuart will play in his 400th career NHL game tonight…..