There has been no shortage of drama for the Winnipeg Jets this season. From the injuries to Dustin Byfuglien’s conversion from third line forward to all-star defenceman, to the Evander Kane saga and eventual blockbuster trade to the battle for an elusive yet coveted playoff spot, the Jets have weathered every storm so far.
Currently, the Jets hold down the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference, a mere one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. By no means is a playoff berth guaranteed. Which makes this upcoming three game home stand vital for the Jets.
Perhaps the most critical game might be the first game in this stretch. The San Jose Sharks are four points behind the Jets for that last wildcard spot. The Sharks have their own drama to contend with.
The spat between Sharks GM Doug Wilson and star centre Joe Thornton reached a new level this past week, which has people wondering about their respective futures.
Simmering issues boiling over in SJ. #SJSharks Thornton on latest from GM Wilson on taking away the 'C': "Doug needs to shut his mouth."
— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) March 13, 2015
The Jets need to take advantage of the situation. They have a chance to bury a team chasing them. No one knows where the Sharks are emotionally at this time. But there is caution to this tale. A wounded Shark is a dangerous Shark. As well the Sharks have won both meetings this season.
Singing The Blues
The games between the Jets and St. Louis Blues have been tight, intense affairs. However, the Blues have won all three tilts against the Jets. The most recent affair was particularly heartbreaking for the Jets.
You know, even if I really, really hated Pavelec, don't think I could have dreamt up a more cruel ending to that game.
— randy turner (@randyturner15) March 11, 2015
The Jets were down 4-1 entering the third period but managed to come roaring back with three straight to tie the game. But with just over a minute remaining, Barrett Jackman’s innocent looking wrist shot from centre ice, somehow eluded Ondrej Pavelec and into the net for the winning goal.
This is a potential first round playoff matchup and the Jets would dearly like to get the better of the Blue Notes. These teams will meet again on April 7 but it’s this fixture that the Jets need to focus on.
Two years ago, the Jets hosted the Washington Capitals in a rare back-to-back home games that would eventually decide the Southeast Division. It didn’t turn out well for the Jets as they were spanked in both games by a combined 9-1 score.
While they’re no longer divisional rivals, the game will still carry huge implications. The Capitals are in their own playoff battle as they sit in the first wildcard spot, two points ahead of the Boston Bruins.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 14, 2015
The Caps blew out the Jets 5-1 back in February in what arguably was the worst game of the season. Winnipeg can’t afford another effort like that one in D.C. It will take a complete reversal for the Jets to come out on top.