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Jets win big bubble battle vs. Buffalo

Mar 5, 2012, 11:24 PM EDT

Buffalo Sabres v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

The Jets might not be the most balanced team, but unless you’re a jilted Atlanta Thrashers fan, it’s pretty tough to argue with the magic they can conjure in Winnipeg.

Tonight provided another example of that special sensation. The Buffalo Sabres tied a tight game up 1-1 late in the second period, but it didn’t crush the Jets’ spirit. They wore down what seemed to be a withering Buffalo team in an impressive third period as Blake Wheeler and Chris Thorburn scored thrilling goals to generate a 3-1 win. (Cam Charron broke down the Jets’ impressive third period in a way that made my brain melt a little here.)

Bubble update

This game keeps the Jets healthy while bumping Buffalo’s shaky hopes down a peg. Here’s a quick look at the East’s bottom seed situation after Winnipeg’s win.

8. Winnipeg: 72 points, 32 wins (28 in regulation/OT) with 15 games remaining

9. Washington: 69 points, 32 wins (31 in regulation/OT) with 17 GR
10. Tampa Bay: 68 points, 31 wins (29 in regulation/OT) with 17 GR
11. Buffalo: 68 points, 30 wins (24 in regulation/OT) with 16 GR
12. Toronto: 67 points, 30 wins (27 in regulation/OT) with 17 GR

Note: you could probably reach for the New York Islanders too, but let’s keep it simple for now.

Looking at the standings, the Jets certainly made the Sabres a lesser threat tonight. Washington and Tampa Bay seem to bring similar strengths as challengers from a tie-breaker standpoint, with the Capitals holding a slight lead while the Lightning carry a lot more momentum.

***

Again, it’s charming to see the Jets make a real “go” of this run, but their road record is the elephant in the room. They’re not alone in the lowly Southeast, however, as the Florida Panthers are the only team with a respectable away mark (15 road wins) compared to 11 for the Jets, Capitals and Lightning.

As great as it would be for Winnipeg fans to see the team make it to the playoffs in its first season back in the NHL, that run could be awfully short if this home-road disparity doesn’t clear up.

  1. bcisleman - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    9 of those remaining 15 are on the road and the 6 home games include DAL, OTT, NYR, & those surging Bolts. Believe WIN will come up short and can’t see TBL continuing current surge w/ their weak D. Not clear who will emerge to take that 8th spot which means no one–Isles included–is really out of it.

  2. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Loved the “Silver Medal *clap* *clap* *clap**clap* *clap*” chants, I’m not soo sure Miler did .. ..

  3. superross - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    I would love to see them make it! J E T S Jets Jets Jets!

  4. odj810 - Mar 6, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    winnepeg would be a little scary to see in the playoffs. tough team.

    • bcisleman - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Jets are 0-3 against NYR incl 2 3-0 shutouts. Would love to see NYR go down and early but dont think Jets could pull it off.

      • hawknuts - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        One can never discount regular season match-ups and their results but the playoffs are a different beast, so anything can happen. April cannot get here fast enough. Good luck to your islanders making the show, it would be fun to see an all NY series.

      • odj810 - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        I’d still consider the rangers the favorites, but i wouldn’t be shocked to see the jets pull it off. I wouldln’t be shocked if any major contender went down in the first round (bruins rangers wings canucks) Tough to play in Winnipeg to, great job by there fans.

  5. odj810 - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I think the peg makes it as the 3 seed and florida gets booted out of the playoffs all together.

  6. Buffalo Grumblings - Mar 6, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Even if the Thrashers, I mean Jets make the playoffs they will be one and done which is the history of the franchise. The chant against Miller was lame. He faces the same thing in Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, New York every year! That was his 4th game in 6 nights.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Would you like some french cries with that waaaamburger? ;)

  7. Buffalo Grumblings - Mar 8, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I don’t know if the shot was directed against calling the Jets the Thrashers or about Miller? If you are a fan of the Winnipeg Jets then cheer for Phoenix cause that’s were the franchise went. They couldn’t come up with a new name ( Manitoba Moose would have been great). Minnesota hasn’t had an NHL team since the North Stars (one of the great uniforms in hockey) went to Dallas. The Wild?, please.

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