That is the question that Jets fans are asking themselves today following a brutal game against division rival St. Louis last night. Starting goalie Michael Hutchinson gave up four goals on seven shots before being pulled in the 2nd period and then Ondrej Pavelec made 19 of 20 saves in relief. Of course the one he failed to stop was the game winning goal, which was a floater from behind the Jets blue line with 1:03 to go in the game. The result was a 5-4 regulation loss and critical points in the playoff hunt were left behind in Missouri.
Today in South Florida coach Maurice met with the media to discuss the game as well as to look ahead to Thursday night’s game against the Panthers. During the scrum he was asked by Brian Munz of TSN 1290 Winnipeg who his starting goalie would be and he said “I’ve got my guy picked. I will tell you tomorrow.”
Dennis Beyak of TSN followed that up asking if the events of last night would impact his decision making to which Maurice replied “I don’t know. If you have the other scenarios go and we win that game, is that a more difficult decision? I don’t feel it’s a particularly difficult one right now. I’m pretty clear on who is starting.”
While the bench boss may be clear fans are left wondering which of the two goalies he will play in a game in which they absolutely need the two points.
The goalie rotation which had been in place since middle of November began to become less of a rotation following the All-Star break as the Jets games became more spread out and coach Maurice started to ride the young rookie netminder over his veteran. Since the break the Jets have played 19 games of which Hutchinson has started 14 games (6-4-3, including the no decision last game with a .881 save%) and Pavelec 5 games (1-3-1 with a .885 save%).
Including last night’s contest Michael Hutchinson has started seven straight Jets games and nine of the last ten. Today in his scrum with reporters it was clear that Ondrej Pavelec is feeling frustrated with his sparse use telling the media numerous times that he’s been sitting on the bench for “three weeks”.
With the Jets absolutely needing two points many Jets fans are attempting to deduce the cryptic message from the head coach as to which starting goalie he will start at the BB&T Center? Who would you start if you were the Jets coach? Of course we will know the answer to the question after the skate tomorrow morning in Sunrise, Florida. Be sure to keep it locked to @illegalcurve for this and other breaking Winnipeg Jets news.