Just below the marked hatred that once existed between the Kings and three of their other former Smythe Division rivals – Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary – there used to be somewhat of a rivalry with the Jets. At the very least, many memorable moments in Kings franchise history took place between the two clubs. With Rob Blake’s jersey retirement coming up next week, it should be pointed out that he played his first NHL game against the Jets, while Wayne Gretzky played his final game in a Kings uniform up in Winnipeg back in 1996 (more on that in a moment).
Of course, those were the old Jets, which eventually relocated to Phoenix. These are the new Jets, who are still struggling to find their own identity. Much like last season, though, one of the central questions surrounding the current team is will Evander Kane be traded or stick around. Sadly, fans in Los Angeles will once again be denied the opportunity of seeing the uber talented forward. Like he was during the Jets visit in October, Kane is out of the lineup with an injury.
For a look at what might actually take place in tonight’s game, we asked Winnipeg Jets radio host Rick Ralph of TSN to join us for pre-game predictions. Here are a handful of items that each of us came up with…
Odds by MayorsManor:
3:1 – Justin Williams, still smarting from Thursday night, pots two goals.
5:1 – Dustin Brown adds a goal of his own.
6:1 – Drew Doughty comments after the game about how much he enjoys playing with Brayden McNabb and how he really thinks their pairing made a significant difference in this game.
15:1 – Andy Andreoff has at least one point and one fight.
25:1 – Jarret Stoll only loses one faceoff the entire game.
100:1 – Trevor Lewis spends at least five shifts on the top line with Anze Kopitar.
Odds by Rick Ralph:
1:2 – Jets fans yell out “True North” during the National Anthem.
6:1 – Dustin Byfuglien sends an LA King airborne.
8:1 – The Winnipeg Jets spend more than 10 minutes in the penalty box.
30:1 – Yet another Winnipeg Jet leaves the game with an injury.
50:1 – The Jets Fourth line sees more than FIVE minutes of ice time.
REQUIRED READING: For a trip down memory lane, click here to see some personal photos from Wayne Gretzky’s final game in a Kings uniform, played in Winnipeg back in 1996.
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