The Winnipeg Jets realize these Panthers are ready to pounce if you’re not ready for them.

After putting together consecutive wins to open a six-game homestand that could determine their post-season chances, the Jets fully understand the Florida Panthers are a dangerous team, even if their position at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings might suggest otherwise.

Perhaps nobody knows that better that forward Mike Santorelli, who was claimed by the Jets off waivers from the Panthers last week.

“The one thing about when I was there, they have a really good work ethic and they make you work for everything you get,” said Santorelli. “They’re really good defensively, they play well as a team and they play hard. It’s going to be a battle against them.”

Santorelli is focused on the bigger picture, but he’s given some thought to facing his former team for the first time.

“It’s going to be a little weird. It happens pretty quick,” said Santorelli. “But every game is so big, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

With seven games left in the regular season, the Jets remain very much in the playoff picture but can’t afford any missteps.

The Panthers might be in the Seth Jones sweepstakes, but they’ve won four of the past five games despite a rash of injuries to key cogs.

And you can be sure that any team coached by Kevin Dineen isn’t going to be mailing it in during the stretch run.

“Regardless of where they are in the standings, they play a desperate hockey game. They look like a team that’s trying to fight to get into the playoffs every game,” said Jets winger Eric Tangradi. “I don’t think they’re going to come into here and just try to put an X on the calendar and get in and get out.

“They’re trying to be a spoiler right now and do everything they can to slow down teams like us. We’re expecting a playoff game, a playoff atmopshere and that’s the right mindset for us going down the stretch.”