Congratulations Winnipeg, you just finished a gruelling 10 game stretch. From a betting perspective you were only the favourite in three of those games (Nashville, Philly and Calgary) and walked away with a very average 5-4-1 record. That’s not bad. But the reality of it all is that even with those eleven points you’re still the last place team in the Central (losing three games and a helmet to Chicago really didn’t help that). It could be worse, we could be at the bottom of west – checks standings – oh, thank god everyone in Alberta sucks. Currently sitting nine points back of the final playoff spot in the West the Jets have a huge mountain to climb and they aren’t getting any help with the next block of games. After this afternoons tilt against the Wild (side thought – is it possible to sing the American anthem n Spanish or is that too far?) the Jets hit the road for six games in 13 days because the Olympic Curling Trials are in town.
Does anyone remember when the old curlers from the 80′s and 90′s used to look like – well curlers. You’d tune into the Brier and see a bunch of old, overweight guys who let out audible groans as they got into the hack. Apparently that’s not the norm any more, do a quick look at all the teams in the Trials and they are all in shape. It’s like someone woke up one day and said ” wait a minute, we’re athletes, kinda”. But I digress, let’s look at the games.
Game 1 – @ New Jersey (9-8-5)
Did I mention this is an Eastern road swing? Why is that important, well for the standings not so much but if there ever was a chance for the Jets to gain some ground here it is. See that record for the Devils at the top? That equals 23 points, and guess what the Jets also have 23 points. This is a matchup where, on paper, these teams are equal. Except for the fact that New Jersey is currently sixth in the east. Wait, that can’t be right – checks standings again – stupid crossover. Yes, on a technicality the Devils are in sixth. But if the season was ending today, they’d be in and the Jets would be out. Wow does the east suck. Side note, Marty Brodeur is 41! He’s like the Brett Favre of Goalies, minus the team switching and dong shots.
Prediction: Win or lose both these teams had Kovalchuk and then lost him. What could have been, what could have been…
Game 2 – @ New York Islanders (8-12-3)
I watched the 30 for 30 on the Islanders the other day, good film. But at the same time I found it hilarious that Bettman was kind of a dick in the way he never owned up for the NHL dropping the ball. In reality this is your league and you let a guy who didn’t have the money run a team for six months, six months! Sadly that’ll never happen again due to people “learning their lessons” and what not. Which sucks because that was probably the best shot any of us had at owning a team.
Prediction: This team sucked for the longest time, what do you get for that? A first overall pick, just saying. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Game 3 – @ Philadelphia (9-10-2)
Remember when Philly was the dumps? It was great because you either hate the Flyers or you’re from Philadelphia. I know people try to find the one thing that changed the team. Benching a player, coaching change or a trade. These are usually the cause, for the Flyers though it was a goalie fight, not kidding. Ever since Emery darted across the ice and beat the ever loving crap out of Holtby this team turned themselves around.
Prediction: No goalie fight, frowny face. But on the off chance their is one, I like Pavelec’s chances. He foreign and therefore will use dirty tricks.
Game 4 – @New York Rangers (11-11-0)
Didn’t this team suck? Like the Flyers I can distinctly remember the Rangers getting off to a horrible start. They had a goalie retire on them mid-game, not really but kinda. Well, apparently someone told the Rangers that they are a key team in the league and need to get their act together. Which now sucks for the Jets because they’re playing a team on the upswing, with all their stars back from injury who still have one of the best goalies in the league.
Prediction: I would like to see the Jets win this in Overtime just to fill out that goose egg in the Rangers column.
Game 5 – @ Florida Panthers (6-13-5)
The old Southeast Division rivals. The Jets had the worst time trying to beat the Panthers. Why? Kris Versteeg. He ruined the Jets every time they played. The good news, he’s back in Chicago (crap!) and the Panthers look like they’ve given up on the year. Classic Florida. This should be a win, not going to disguise it but if they lose it will be a bad loss. plain and simple.
Prediction: A win, a goddamn win!
Game 6 – @ Tampa Bay Lightning (14-8-1)
It was Stamkos, the only reason they were winning was because of Stamkos. They’re on a 4 game losing streak, now’s the time to capitalize! This is the last game, and we should be seeing a regenerated team who’s been lounging in the Florida sun. Oh, yeah nothing about that sentence screams a bad game, nothing.
Prediction: I hope I get to read “was placed on the IR due to extreme sunburn”. We can only hope.
Enjoy the games!