The Winnipeg Jets are in Raleigh and looking to defeat the Canes for a fourth consecutive loss, whereas Carolina is aiming for their third straight home victory. Carolina has gone 7-2-1 over 10 games played at the RBC Center.
These Eastern Conference teams are 7 points apart in the standings. Jets are in 10th place with 50 points while Canes are playing the caboose with 43 marks. Last season the Hurricanes went 5-0-1 against then Thrashers’ team. No doubt, we are due for a victory this year.
When it comes to goaltending against Winnipeg, it is the Curse of the Crease. Cam Ward has not done well against the fellow Southeast Division team with a meager .898 SV% and 3.99 GA. Brian Boucher has played in one game this season and allowed 5 goals on 24 shots. Yikes. Boucher remains on the injured reserve list, alongside Joni Pitkanen. Usual Charlotte Checkers’ goalie, Mike Murphy, appears to be the only tendy untouched by the Jets’ black pipe magic. He played over 27 minutes in Winnipeg and didn’t allow a goal on 7 attempts. Ok, that was my shameless Checkers’ plug for today.
Jeff Skinner is the point leader against Winnipeg with a goal and two assists over three games. Brandon Sutter (1g, 1a), Jamie McBain (2a), Chad LaRose (2a), and Jaro Spacek (2a) are runner-ups with two points each.
Andrew Ladd has not been gentle on his former teammates. He has two goals over the past three contests, both of which were game-winners. Tripp Tracy tweeted last night that Eric Staal had his 2-year-old son boo Ladd at dinner. Priceless.
Canes’ other nemesis this season has been Chris Mason. The Jet’s goalie guarded the crease in all 3 games and boasts a 1.39 GAA and .938 SV%. Other Jets to watch are Kyle Wellwood and Blake Wheeler. Wellwood is riding a four game point streak and has claimed a goal and two helpers over three previous games with Carolina. Wheeler has managed a team leading 6 power play goals and has earned 4 assists against the Canes this year. Zach Bogosian is back in the lineup and has also fared well against the Canes (4a).
In more exciting news, Jussi Jokinen is two helpers away from hitting 100 Carolina assists. Jussi currently has 4 points in five games. Just two shy of 100 NHL assists is our burly defenseman, Tim Gleason. Go Juice! Go Timmy!
This is the last game before the All-Star break, so let’s end on a positive note, yes? Lines appear unchanged from Saturday. Canes return to the ice on January 31st to face the dreaded New York Islanders at home. Let’s extend the home win streak to four boys!