Checking in on Kyle Connor

Ryan Lambert
March 29 2016 03:31PM

Kyle Connor watch is officially on in Winnipeg.

The Michigan Wolverines saw their season come to an end on Saturday night as North Dakota dismantled their good-ish but flawed team in truly ugly fashion. The final score was 5-2, but shots were 49-27, which is fairly reflective of how the game went and deserved to have gone.

One thing to note, though, was that Connor and his line created the only two Michigan goals on the night, which was to be expected. Michigan scored 181 goals all year (not a bad total in just 38 games!), and Connor, JT Compher, and Tyler Motte combined for 83 of them. That's almost 46 percent of the goals for one of the top 10 or so best teams in the country. Patently absurd, but it speaks to the power Connor and Co. brought to the rink every night.

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5 things: How good is Hellebuyck?

Ryan Lambert
January 08 2016 04:43PM

1. The story so far

The prolonged absence due to injury of Ondrej Pavelec and the relatively poor play of Michael Hutchinson created something of a whirlwind that swept Connor Hellebuyck to power, and now it seems as if that power won't be relinquished any time soon.

Hellebuyck didn't exactly get a slow run-out with the Jets, and was instead thrown pretty quickly into the fire, but has excelled to an almost ludicrous extent. Behind the same team and in close to the same number of games, Hellebuyck has a save percentage more than 30 points higher than either of the previous Jets' goalies, and one wonders if that forces Winnipeg to make some very tough decisions when Pavelec comes back from injury.

This is, after all, a team which is holding on tenuously to realistic playoff hopes (they entered Friday four points back of Nashville for the final wild card spot, the only one to which they have any sort of realistic access) and Hellebuyck seems to be the only goaltender who can actually get them there. A combined .937 save percentage across 14 appearances will yield a 9-4-1 record pretty much of the time, and even there you have to say he's been a bit unlucky if nothing else. The Jets' penalty-killing problems are often discussed and illustrated once again on a pretty much nightly basis at this point, and Hellebuyck is as much a victim as anyone. He, unlike the other goalies to man the Winnipeg crease this season, at least has the ludicrous 5-on-5 numbers to overcome even the worst penalty kill on a lot of nights.

And that's a quality he's shown far more often than not in his career.

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5 things: Paying Andrew Ladd

Ryan Lambert
November 06 2015 02:23PM

Editor's note: Ryan Lambert talks about five things to look at with the Andrew Ladd pending free agent situation.

Let's take a look.

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5 things: Early Calder Candidates

Ryan Lambert
October 31 2015 08:00AM

We're now 10 or 11 games into the season for just about everyone in the league, and already some of the wheat in the "Calder Consideration" pool is starting to separate from the chaff.

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Five things: Is a quiet summer a good thing?

Ryan Lambert
July 10 2015 10:54AM

It's nearing mid-July and rosters are starting shape out for the next season.

Have the Winnipeg Jets done enough to make it into the playoffs once again?

Let's take a look after the jump.

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