RALEIGH - Remember all those times in the last two months that players, coaches and media members said it was a "big game" because the NHL season was so short?
Well, forget it. They were lying.
Now, however, we really, really, really, really, really mean it.
The Winnipeg Jets, sitting on top of the tiny stool that is the Southeast Division, will battle the team that is closest to them, the Carolina Hurricanes, twice this week. The first battle goes Tuesday night at PNC Arena.
It's big. No, really. It is. The Hurricanes are four points back but have played three fewer games.
"They've got three games in hand," Jets winger Blake Wheeler said after Sunday's 3-2 home win over Tampa. "If you look at it from that perspective and if you can come up six on them, it's huge. It really is.