What We Learned From Game 3:
We learned what we had expected from the start and yet had not seen in the first two games: The Jets can play with the Ducks. Despite the fact that neither of the first two were blowouts on the scoreboard, the ice was tilted toward Ondrej Pavelec in both games. Once the series shifted to the 'Peg, the home team was able to suppress the Ducks' offense and make it a much more even game, and for the first time in this series it looked like the Jets might win a game that they deserved to win. I'd be very surprised if they didn't play the same way in Game 4.
We also re-learned what it's like to be emotionally invested in a playoff game that goes past 60 minutes. From a non-partisan standpoint, last night's game might have been the most entertaining hockey of these playoffs, right up there with Game 1 in Nashville. From my standpoint, you can drop the "might have been."
What Needs to Change From Last Game:
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry need to be better. They had their worst game of the series so far, and while the pairing of Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Pardy deserves a lot of credit for shutting them down, the Twins know that they're getting the opponent's best D every night and it's their job to be better than them.
Cam Fowler obviously needs to save his tape-to-tape passes for Ducks players, but I'm not too worried about that. Yes, that turnover to Bryan Little was brutal, but it's not the kind of mistake that a guy like Fowler is going to make twice in the same series.
It would also be nice to be tied or even ahead after 40 minutes. Three straight third period comebacks is a recipe for heart attacks, not championships.
Chris Wagner did not travel to Winnipeg and will obviously not be playing in Game 4. John Gibson could be ready for action as soon as next week. Nate Thompson is day-to-day, and as of this writing there is no word on whether or not he will play in Game 4, but it is a possibility. If he does play, he will likely replace Tomas Fleischmann centering the fourth line.
Dustin Byfuglien will not face supplemental discipline for his after-the-goal hit on Corey Perry. The Jets lineup will likely look the same.
This is the fifth time in franchise history the Ducks have gone up 3-0 in a series. They completed the sweep the first three times (2003 vs Detroit, 2003 vs Minnesota, 2006 vs Colorado) and lost Game 4 the most recent time before winning in Game 5 (2007 vs Minnesota). The Jets franchise was swept in their only playoff series prior to this year (2007 vs Rangers). They were the Thrashers back then, of course.
The game-winning goal will be scored on a power play that will be created by Ryan Kesler. Whether he draws the penalty or takes it, I cannot say.