|"Our work ethic needs to skyrocket."|
Claude Noel is almost certain to call on Ondrej Pavelec against the Caps tonight. Pavelec's numbers don't look spectacular, but he still has posted an 11-10-4 record on the year, including that win over the Wild, in which he stopped 34 of 35 shots. On the year, he has a 3.11 GAA, .902 save percentage, and two shutouts. Outside the crease, the Jets will definitely be without two defensemen: Derek Meech, who is on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury, and power play quarterback Tobias Enstrom, who is also on the shelf with a shoulder injury. Forwards Alex Burmistrov (undisclosed) and Nik Antropov (foot) are both questionable; neither of them player on Wednesday.
Michal Neuvirth seems likely to start for Dale Hunter after being solid in relief on Tuesday night. After a promising rookie year, the sophomore Czech goalie has crashed and burned magnificently this year, posting a 3-5-1 record, 3.73 GAA, and .875 save percentage. On the injury front, Washington will be without Mike Green (groin), who is believed to be in Vancouver seeing a specialist about his injury, and Jay Beagle (concussion). Matt Hendricks, who has now missed more than a week, is questionable. If he were to return to the lineup, it remains to be seen who would be scratched; my money is on Cody Eakin. Jeff Schultz could return to the lineup also after being healthy scratched for the last two contests.
Puck drops 8:38-ish. It's 4 degrees in Winnipeg.