The 7th Man: Advantage MTS Centre
by: Ron Cantiveros
Home ice definitely has its advantages. The fans that fill up the MTS Centre during each Jets home game is getting a reputation across the NHL as the loudest fans to play in front of and visiting teams and media are taking notice. Also on the top of the loudest fan list are the those at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Regarded as the 7th man on the ice, screaming, shouting, and booing fans have helped the Jets win several close games in December.
The Winnipeg Jets end off December with a 10-3-1 and tied for 6th spot in the Eastern Conference with New Jersey and Ottawa. The 10 wins in December mark a franchise record for most points and wins in a month.
One of the losses came against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins and unfortunately to the disappointment of many fans, the Penguins were without superstar, Sidney Crosby. Crosby returned earlier in the season and was placed on injury reserve after a second incident with concussion-like symptoms.
The Winnipeg Jets cap off a franchise record month with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs in a New Year’s Eve classic. Winnipeg Jets goals came from Zach Bogosian, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler. Ondrej Pavelec stood on his head stopping 21 Leaf shots and allowed goals by Clarke MacArther adn Phil Kessel. Leafs goaltender, James Reimer, a Manitoba native lost in his home province NHL debut.
In their first road game of 2012, the Winnipeg Jets lost badly in a 7-3 loss against the struggling Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The Jets need to improve thier road record to ensure that they don’t drop out of the tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
There are only four Jets home games in January. Upcoming games at MTS Centre this month include the San Jose Sharks (Jan.12), New Jersey Devils (Jan. 14), Buffalo Sabres (Jan. 19) and the Florida Panthers (Jan. 21).
Happy New Year & Go Jets Go!