September 3, 2015


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Sports Breaking News

Isles down Jets in shootout

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Game preview:

Excuse the Winnipeg Jets if they can’t do the festive thing in the days leading up to Christmas this weekend.

They have, after all, quite a bit on their plate.

The Jets play the first of three games in four nights Tuesday against the New York Islanders  at MTS Centre followed by visits from the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. They will be off on the weekend, but back at work on Boxing Day in advance of a Dec. 27 date in Denver with the Colorado Avalanche.

So right now it’s head down and soldier on for the Jets, especially knowing a win tonight will push them above the eighth-place line in the fight for playoff spots.

“You’ve got to fight to get into the eight-man room of the playoffs, then you’ve got to scratch and claw to get to the middle of the room,” said Blake Wheeler. “We want to get away from the door as fast as possible, that’s our goal. There’s a couple points separating sixth-seventh place from 10th or 11th-place. You want to be on the upper end of that and go into a break feeling good about yourselves.

“We’ve learned from ourselves that if teams have taken us lightly we made them pay for it when we were lower in the standings. If we do the same thing, it would be a step in the wrong direction for us.”

The Jets, 15-13-4, face an Islander club that is 10-14-6 and 14th in the Eastern Conference but is also 4-1-1 in its last six on the road.

“Every game is crucial at this point in the season with how tight the race is,” said Zach Bogosian. “We have to make sure we keep climbing. They have some good players, so you have to be aware of guys like (John) Tavares and (Kyle) Okposo. Other than the Detroit and Washington games (both losses) we’ve had some pretty good games of late, so we have to make sure we keep climbing up the standings. Everyone in this room knew that December was going to be a big month for us, we have to keep moving forward and getting as many points as possible.”

Head coach Claude Noel did confirm that centre Bryan Little (foot) would not be in the lineup against the Islanders. His spot on the Jets’ top line would be filled by Alex Burmistrov.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

History

Updated on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 7:51 PM CST: Adds first goal

8:16 PM: Adds first period update

8:37 PM: Adds Isles second goal

8:48 PM: Adds Jets second goal

9:08 PM: Adds second period summary

10:18 PM: Adds final result

11:28 PM: Adds quotes, more detail

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