Winnipeg Jets set to take on L.A. Kings in playoff push
The Winnipeg Jets are ready to face the Los Angeles Kings tonight, as Jets fans continue hoping the home team will score an NHL playoff spot.
The Jets are taking on the Kings in a special edition of Hockey Night in Canada on Thursday night at the MTS Centre.
- WATCH LIVE: Kings at Jets, 6 p.m. CT
The game is an important one for the Jets, which are vying for a playoff spot with only 19 games left in the regular season.
"We're in a stretch of games that you would view as playoff mode-type games," head coach Paul Maurice told reporters after a morning skate.
Since the NHL season resumed from the Winter Olympic break, Winnipeg won two games before losing in overtime to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
The Jets remain one point behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild card playoff spot, as do the Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks. Only two points separate the four teams.
With the standings that close, some fans say they have high expectations in the regular season's final stretch.
"You got to stay positive, think positive, and then they'll get there," said Chantal Vickery.
"I really think they can do it. We've really done well in the second part of the season."
Said Wenona Samatte, "This year I have faith. I have a dream they're going to make the playoffs, I really do."
Businesses near the MTS Centre are also keeping hopes high that they can capitalize on a Jets playoff run.
"It's going to be like the Olympic gold medal game, every single day," said Andrew Shefchyk, the marketing director at Boston Pizza.
The Jets said Michael Frolik will move from right wing to centre, in light of Mark Scheifele's knee injury during Tuesday's game.
On Wednesday, the team announced that defenceman Mark Stuart has signed a four-year, $10.5-million US contract to stay with the Jets.