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Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets - 10/1/13

Winnipeg Jets (24-21-3) at Edmonton Oilers (19-22-7)

NHL Hockey: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm (Rexall Place)

The Line: Edmonton Oilers / Winnipeg Jets --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers kick off their respective seasons at Rexall Place in Edmonton in the night cap Tuesday evening.

The Jets enter this season looking to make amends for their shortcomings last year which had them miss the postseason once again leaving them out of the second season both years since returning to the ‘Peg. The Jets are a very gritty team with a number of grinder type players who all contribute to get the job done which is the opposite of what we see from their opening night counterparts from Edmonton. Dustin Byfuglien achors a strong blue line that includes Tobias Enstrom, Mark Stuart, and Zach Bogosian which should give netminder Ondrej Pavelec some breathing room in the blue paint as he looks for a bounce back season for the Jets between the pipes. Up front, the Jets have a number of role players but do have some raw talent as well as the likes of Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane, Devin Setoguchi, Bryan Little, and Blake Wheeler will be called upon to handle the scoring duties while youngsters Michael Frolik and Mark Schiefele look to make an impact with the club. Heading into Edmonton the Jets should have a clean bill of health and start with a full roster ready to make some noise in the Western Conference.

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Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets - 10/1/13

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers meanwhile had another offseason filled with change as they switched coaches and general managers once again as former bench boss Craig MacTavish takes over managerial duties, while long time Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins takes over behind the bench. It is has been made clear the Oilers’ brass is keen on winning now and throwing away any courtesy tags this season as they feel it has been long enough since the Oilers young core has been in the league. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov anchor a young, but talented forward crew that saw the likes of David Perron and Boyd Gordon join in the mix in the offseason. The blue line received a boost as they brought in former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who has since been named the team’s captain and he will be an integral part of the Oilers’ success this season as he brings a winning mentality and gritty attitude to the table. However, the Oilers didn’t address the issue in goal as it appears they’re going to stick with Devan Dubnyk, and while they brought in a ton of backup help in the form of Richard Bachman and Jason Labarbera I don’t think this was addressed properly unless Dubnyk can step up and be the talent the Oilers think he can be. While Edmonton will be better this year, the loss of Sam Gagner indefinitely to a broken jaw hurts a lot as he is the catalyst of the Oilers’ offense and with Hall having to shift to centre I think it throws things off at least for the first few games. Love the value on the Jets here and I think they claw out a win to open the season.

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