Jets @ Capitals | Fri Mar 23 | 6PM CST | Verizon Center | Game 74 | "The Capital Job"
PREVIEW: CAPITALIZE, OR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?
Last 10: Washington 5-3-2; Winnipeg 4-5-1
The Winnipeg Jets are excited about their upcoming matchup with the Washington Capitals. It's clear
the feeling is mutual.
These Southeast Division rivals played an intense game last Friday night and meet exactly one week
later at the Verizon Center to complete their season series.
Washington (37-30-7) sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 81 points, with
Winnipeg (34-31-8) in 10th with 76 and a game in hand. The Capitals trail division leader Florida by
The Jets took advantage of a raucous home crowd in last week's 3-2 win over Washington. Winnipeg
pulled within two points of the Capitals with that victory before losing its next two.
"Washington - it's a team we've had some good battles against and it's going to be another tough
one," Jets defenseman Mark Stuart said.
Stuart was fined $2,500 for a hit on Marcus Johansson in that contest, and the play had the Capitals
pointing to this rematch.
"We've got them again in a week," center Brooks Laich told the Capitals' official website. "Hockey
players have long memories. We'll see them soon. They're right behind us. We'll see them in a week."
The Capitals fell 2-1 in a shootout at Philadelphia on Thursday, but at least one player was quickly
looking ahead to the next game.
"We've got a big game tomorrow against Winnipeg, who we feel is going to be maybe a make or break
game in our season," right wing Troy Brouwer said. "We're excited about tomorrow night's game
The Jets have yielded 12 goals in consecutive losses, opening this three-game trip with Tuesday's
8-4 defeat to Pittsburgh.
"I don't know at this time of the year that you need a lot of motivation," coach Claude Noel said.
"Your guys, I think all your players, they sense what's happening. You don't have to draw pictures
Washington star Alex Ovechkin has just 12 of his team-high 32 goals at home. He had five as the Caps
split four games on their road trip, failing to score only at Winnipeg.
Ovechkin and Alexander Semin are tied with a team-high four points against the Jets. Semin sat out
Thursday with an undisclosed injury, and coach Dale Hunter said he is "day to day."
Winnipeg has four players with at least four points against Washington, with Andrew Ladd leading the
way with five.
Ondrej Pavelec, pulled in the second period after allowing five goals against Pittsburgh, has
started every 2011-12 meeting with Washington, going 3-1-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average.
Tomas Vokoun has started three times against Winnipeg, but he's been out the last three games with a
strained groin. Hunter gave Michal Neuvirth one start before Braden Holtby got the next two.
While Washington is finishing up a back-to-back set of games, Winnipeg is starting one that ends
Saturday in Nashville.
"They're in a back-to-back situation when we play this game tomorrow and we've got to take advantage
of that and hopefully jump on them and go from there," Noel said.
my heart says Winnipeg but my head says Washington.
Caps have stepped it up lately and were very competitive in 3 of the 4 games on this past road trip. We can absolutely compete with them in their house if we play smart but that is not something we do very often on the road.
I know this is our season on the line tonight but I have a bad vibe today that Washington has a bit of a score to settle. The only plus is they are playing the first game at home coming off a B2B and sometimes a team can be flat in that situation but I think at this time of the year it is less of a factor.
Common boys......give us one more road win here and keep the dream alive!
Well, tonights the night gang. At this point I'm mostly just hoping the Jets can somehow keep things interesting till the end of the season. Even if they do lose tonight I hope to see a few more wins before the end to keep things positive for next season...
Most important game of the year. Both standings wise and psychologically. If they drop this game I think it'll be very emotionally tough on the boys to stick it out, and we'll likely see it as the end of our playoff push.
They need to come out strong and I expect they will. We might see a somewhat scrambley first 5 or 10 minutes as we're pushing it offensively. Should be a good game either way, just need to make sure we keep our emotions in check and don't let get carried away
A bit OT but last Friday as I was getting ready for our clash with the Caps I was really nervous in anticipation and had butterflies all day...........today I don't feel any nerves at all? Perhaps a touch of apathy is setting in but it sure is more relaxing
I think I am kind of getting to the point where I feel we don't have much left to lose anymore. Two more talented teams "on paper" are between us and the last playoff spot now and they are both playing better than we are lately. Throw in the pesky stat that 6 of our last 9 games are on the road where we are close to the worst team in the NHL and two of those 6 games are back to back where we have 1 win in 10 attempts. Normally these things would concern me but strangely they have had the opposite effect on me and I am in the most calm and relaxed state I have been all season.
Don't get me wrong I have not given up I just think I am now looking at the post season as a 10% long shot hail Mary type thing and I am at peace with it.