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At the Rink blog

Jets hoping for home-ice advantage in Calgary

Friday, 03.09.2012 / 2:37 PM

By Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Jets hoping for home-ice advantage in Calgary
CALGARY -- At home, they're nearly unbeatable.
 
But on the road, the Winnipeg Jets have failed to find the winning formula.
 
One of the reasons the Jets have compiled a 21-10-4 record at the MTS Centre is the boisterous crowd that has pushed them to be one of hockey’s best home teams.
 
Facing the Calgary Flames on the second half of a two-game road swing, the Jets are hoping they can use crowds on the road to their advantage as well as they push for a playoff berth.
 
"Our fans are a passionate bunch and they seem to be in all the Canadian rinks and a few of the American rinks, too, and you can definitely hear it when they're there," Tanner Glass said. "I think they're trying to get our road record up a bit, because they sure help us at home."
 
Just 11-18-4 on the road, the Jets will rely on a boisterous bunch in Calgary to simulate a home atmosphere. They may just find it in Alberta.
 
"My understanding is that some people have left Winnipeg to come west and we've run into them in Vancouver and now we're in Calgary, so the support seems to be everywhere, we just have to visualize we're at home," coach Claude Noel said.
 
With eight of their remaining 14 games away from Winnipeg, the ninth-place Jets need to remedy their road woes in a hurry.
 
"We have more road games than home, so we're going to have to find a way to do it," said goaltender Chris Mason, who confirmed he will be backing up Ondrej Pavelec in Calgary.
 
"It's definitely been tough on the road for us," he said. "At home we've done well and really fed off the crowd. We get that support on the road as well. It's harder to win on the road, and that means details are that much more important. That's something going down the stretch we're going to have to pay huge attention to."
 
Upping the road record could be the difference between playing in the playoffs and ending the season early.
 
"For us, we're looking at it as a new time," Noel said. "Closing down the end of these last eight games, if we can get to .500 or a game over that I think we'll be happy with that."
 
Here's the Jets' projected lineup:

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Alexander Burmistrov - Kyle Wellwood
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Tim Stapleton - Nik Antropov - Antti Miettinen
 
Dustin Byfuglien - Tobias Enstrom
Ron Hainsey - Grant Clitsome
Mark Stuart - Randy Jones
 
Ondrej Pavalec
Chris Mason
Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks