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.
Nation World HQ
January 08 2016 06:00AM
Jonathan Drouin and Kerby Rychel trade demands, Canucks too proud to tank, Jake Virtanen a Canadian villain, Jarome Iginla hits 600, Zack Kassian speaks, Winnipeg working on outdoor game, it's good Seth Jones is not an Oiler, Kings take on Lecavalier for some reason, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
January 07 2016 10:11PM
Good road games have been hard to come by for the Winnipeg Jets this season. Good road games that end up in wins have been an even rarer occurrence. The Jets achieved the former, but not the latter in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars, deep in the heart of Texas.
January 07 2016 08:45AM
The Winnipeg Jets conclude their season long five-game road trip, as well as reach the halfway mark of the 2015-16 season Thursday night against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Centre. The Jets are 2-2 on this road trip and are coming off a 4-1 win in Nashville. The Jets currently sit five points out of the final playoff spot so every game matters from here on out.
January 06 2016 02:38PM
The Winnipeg Jets' announced that Dustin Byfuglien has been invited to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville. This will be the large and carefree defender's fourth visitation to the annual festivity. It should be noted that "Big Buff" has been invited to the games every season that he has been both healthy and playing as a NHL defenseman, which is quite the accomplishment.