JGD #36: Securing The Playoffs

Kevin McCartney
December 27 2014 03:29PM


The Jets return from the holiday break sitting 6th in the West, but still 4th in the Central and thus in a Wildcard playoff spot. The teams in the hunt as the calendar turns appear to be Calgary - a team with just two wins in their last ten games and more reasons for doubt than hope - and Minnesota. 

The Wild are 8 points back of the Jets, but hold three games in hand. A home-and-home series between the teams could take the story in either direction, and despite a stellar two months with Paul Maurice behind the bench, the success of 2014 rests on Winnipeg's ability to put Minnesota firmly in the rear view mirror.

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Mark Stuart Out Until February: Uh...

Kevin McCartney
December 18 2014 03:59PM

The Jets play the Detroit Red Wings on Valentine's day this year. It will be a very special Valentine's, as it might be the next time the Jets have a healthy blue line. 

With Enstrom out since November 23rd, Bogosian since December 3rd, and Trouba in the infirmary until February, news hit today that Mark Stuart will join his defence partner for 6-10 weeks with a lower-body injury. 

Inside we'll look at who the Jets have to play against Boston tomorrow, and who we might see over the next few weeks. 

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Jets Weekly Preview #11: Waffer thin

Kevin McCartney
December 16 2014 04:45PM

Paul Maurice is making room on his mantle for a Jack Adams award right now, such is his confidence that a blue line without Enstrom, Bogosian and now Trouba (the team's top-3 defenders coming into the season) can maintain the Jets' winning pace. 

The Jets enter week 11 having snapped their streak of earning points in 8 straight games but still hanging onto 8th place in the West.

Inside we’ll look at the week to come.

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Cory Conacher Passes through Waivers: Is this the end?

Kevin McCartney
December 13 2014 06:55PM

Cory Conacher is not a well-known player in the NHL, even after stints in four markets. An undrafted college free-agent signing by the Lightning, he steamrolled the AHL as a 5'8" 21 year old after being told he might never walk properly as an infant and living with type 1 diabetes since childhood. He entered the NHL as a walking made-for-tv underdog story. Shortly after he obliterated the Jets (the first time) as a rookie with the Lightning, we had an in-depth (and I must say well-written) look at him here

Since then, he's had himself a whirlwind tour of some of the worst places to play hockey in the NHL - Ottawa, Buffalo, and finally Long Island. Turning 25 tomorrow, he boasts 141 NHL games of experience, including 58 points and 84 PIMs (the man is a firecracker).  

He also just cleared waivers despite a very cap friendly $600K contract that expires at the end of the season. 

Is this the end of Cory Conacher in the NHL? Or can he still offer something to an NHL team? 

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Kane Suspended Two Games: Playing without Evander

Kevin McCartney
December 09 2014 11:58AM

Evander Kane was suspended for two games for his hit from behind on Clayton Stoner. The loss comes at a difficult time for the Jets. Not only are they facing two Divisional opponents in those games, but injuries to Enstrom, Bogosian, and Clitsome have forced Byfuglien back on defence and thinned out an already shallow roster.

The structure offered by Paul Maurice has made it possible for less talented or less experienced players to keep up and contribute at the NHL level. A team that once drowned with players like Halischuk or Postma on the ice is now able to stay competitive with tighter gaps and more conviction in their defence. 

Still, the league's 28th ranked offence is losing a natural scorer, a physical forechecker, and a speedy presence on the wing. What will it mean for the Jets?

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