Friday, February 24, 2012
Five Games That Will Define The Jets Season
With the Winnipeg Jets nabbing the top spot in the Southeast Division last night after a 4-3 win at home, there are five games that will ultimately define the Jets playoff hopes.
Jets vs. Panthers - Thursday, March 1, 2012 @ MTS Centre
As the second last game of the Jets eight game home stand, the Jets may or may have separated themselves from the Florida Panthers for the division lead.
Points at the end of a home stand define the home stand and the team's overall success in the home barn. These two points could tip a balance if the Jets are able to grab wins against St. Louis Saturday (February 25) and Edmonton Monday (February 27).
Jets vs. Capitals - Friday, March 16, 2012 @ MTS Centre
Depending on how the Capitals respond to adversity down the playoff stretch as well as if they add any pieces for a possible playoff run, this game could be as big as any against the Florida.
Currently, the Capitals are four points behind the Jets with three games in hand. But with Alex Ovechkin day-to-day and a 3-6-1 in their last ten, including three straight losses, the Capitals may be out of it altogether at the midway part of the March.
Jets @ Penguins - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ Consol Energy Center
Last time the Jets visited this part of Pennsylvania, it was an 8-5 shootout between the Crosby-less Penguins and the Jets. Revenge has to be on the mind of the Jets.
If the offense continues to roll as it has been as of late and translates to road success as well, the Jets could steal two points on the road against a team that has a stellar home record of 18-8-2.
Jets vs. Senators - Monday, March 26, 2012 @ MTS Centre
Currently, Ottawa has five more points than Winnipeg, but when it comes to the race for the final two to three playoff spots, the log jam may be larger coming down the back end of the stretch.
With the current roll both Winnipeg and Ottawa are currently on - Ottawa has won four straight, Winnipeg has points in last five games - both teams could make a push to climb up the standings.
If Winnipeg has not already separated itself from Florida and Washington in the Southeast, look for Winnipeg and Ottawa battling for spots 6-8 in the East.
Jets @ Panthers - Tuesday, April 3, 2012 @ Bank Atlantic Center
If late playoff charges make good on a possible divisional championship going into the post-season, this game could be the most important of the entire season.
Currently, the Panthers have a decent 14-8-8 record at home this season, while the Jets have been able to win one game in Florida in a shootout on Halloween, while losing 2-1 to the Panthers earlier in February.
If there are four or less points between the two teams come the end of the season, the Jets road success will ultimately decide how their entire season finishes.
Posted by Matt Eichel at 7:12 AM