Justin K. Aller
Our SB Nation partner blog, Arctic Ice Hockey, checks in to answer some questions about the Winnipeg Jets in advance of the game tonight when the Penguins head to the True North for the 4th game of the season.
#1 Tanner Glass hit the open market and signed a relatively friendly two year, $1.1 million contract. He was a part of the popular (and seemingly effective) GST line last season. Why do you think Winnipeg let him hit the open market and both player and team moved on so quickly?
While the GST line was popular here in Winnipeg, they were hardly as effective as some would give them credit. Yes, Jim Slater and Tanner Glass went on to register career highs in points, the line was a horrendous defensive liability the entire year. I guess their cute nickname made up for it. For Glass, he became an expendable asset this off-season as he's nearly a carbon copy of Chris Thorburn -- his 2011-12 linemate.
#2 Since it's still early in the season, who is one player that the average East Coast fan might not know about for the Jets that might have the best game?
That would be none other than Alexei Ponikarovsky, a name some Pens' fans may remember. While his stat sheet remains bare, he has consistently been one of the best Jets' players these first few games, showing dogged determination on the forecheck and deceptive speed. Playing alongside Alexander Burmistrov, one would think these two cats will start clicking soon.
#3 Ondrej Pavelec's career vs. the Pens has just been a horror story for him with a 1-10-0 record and a 4.81 GAA and .858 save percentage. Do you see the Jets going with their starter anyways?
Despite having horrible numbers in the second half of back-to-back games, Claude Noel called upon his Czech netminder Tuesday in Washington and was rewarded with a win. Look for Noel to roll the dice again as Pavelec should get the start tonight against Pittsburgh, if only to reward his early efforts. Winnipeg could predictably go with Al Montoya Sunday against the New York Islanders.