Thursday, December 22, 2011

Game #35 - at Winnipeg Jets

2011-12 Game 35

Pittsburgh Penguins (19-11-4, 42 points) at Winnipeg Jets (15-13-5, 35 points)

Yeah, it's from the first Winter Classic, but I thought it was a cool picture. 

Why does it matter?

It's a chance at redemption for the Pens, who were the first victim for the newly minted Jets this season.  They lost 2-1 in Winnipeg back in October.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - A two game winning streak, with the most recent win being an emotional, intense victory over the Blackhawks.
  • Jets - Numbers are funny in the NHL.  The Jets have lost three of their past five, but two of those losses could easily have been wins.  They're also 10-4-2 since November 12th.
Questions to be answered
  • Given the suspension of Engelland, will we see the return of Carl Sneep (or Brian Strait) or is Michalek or Martin ready to go.  Boy, I hope it's one of the latter two.
  • Can the Pens find a way to get onto their power play?  For the month of December, the Jets have only been allowing three chances per game.
  • Will the hot goalies carry the Jets?  Both Pavelec and Mason have been sensational in December.
Keys to the game
  • Neutralize the home-ice advantage.  The Jets are MUCH better at home (11-5-1).  Play a tight road game and keep the crowd out of it.
  • Don't give them space.  Buff has a great shot, but he isn't that fast - stay up on him.  Kane is another one to stick with - he won't hesitate to run over the goalie.
  • No drop-off.  Tuesday was a big win, but it's time to get right back to it.  Don't let the guard down.

1 comment:

Reed Solomon said...

Good luck keeping the crowd out of it! Won't be easy.