(Sports Network) - The Winnipeg Jets will begin their second season since
relocating from Atlanta, as they welcome the Ottawa Senators to the MTS Centre
The former Atlanta Thrashers had an inconsistent season in 2011-12 and wound
up finishing eight points out of a playoff spot. Winnipeg did fare well at
home in 2011-12, going 23-13-5 in Manitoba compared to a 14-22-5 mark
After beginning the lockout-shortened season at home, Winnipeg will play five
of its next seven games on the road.
Meanwhile, after earning a surprise trip to the playoffs in 2011-12 the
Senators won't be sneaking up on anybody this season.
Ottawa was expected to be near the bottom of the Eastern Conference last
season, but instead the club wound up qualifying as the eighth and final
playoff seed. The Senators lost in the opening round, but were impressive
nonetheless, pushing the top-seeded New York Rangers to seven games before
The Senators exceeded just about everybody's expectations with a 92-point
season in 2011-12, an 18-point improvement from the previous year.
The breakout star of Ottawa's 2011-12 campaign was clearly defenseman Erik
Karlsson, who at 22 years of age, joined Bobby Orr and Denis Potvin as the
only players under the age of 23 to win the Norris Trophy. With 19 goals and
59 assists, Karlsson had 25 points more than the NHL's next highest-scoring
defenseman in 2011-12.
The Senators also have captain Daniel Alfredsson back for a 17th season -- all
of which have come in Ottawa. During the offseason, the 40-year-old forward
announced he was putting off retirement for at least another year, but it
remains to be seen what Alfredsson forward can offer this season. The classy
Swede had 27 goals and 59 points in 2011-12.
Ottawa won three of four games against the Jets last season and has taken five
of the last eight matchups in this series. The clubs split a pair of games in
Winnipeg in 2011-12.
The Jets enter the season with some injury issues as defenseman Zach Bogosian
(wrist) and forward Antti Miettinen (upper body) are out indefinitely.
Meanwhile, forward Nik Antropov is questionable for Saturday's contest with an
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