How worried should the Jets be about Michael Hutchinson?

Garret Hohl
March 16 2015 12:10PM

Photo Credit: Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports

Michael Hutchinson has cooled off from his hot start.  

Since the All-Star break Hutchinson has posted an ugly save percentage of .879, the lowest of any other NHL netminder aside from Anton Khudobin.

So how much should the Jets worry about their young goaltender?

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Will iffy goaltending prevent the Jets from qualifying for the playoffs again?

Thomas Drance
March 16 2015 10:53AM

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets' post All-Star break tailspin was momentarily halted this past weekend, when the club managed an opportunistic comeback victory over the juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning. It was notable because wins have become something of a rarity for this Jets club since late January.

Rarer still was the relatively sturdy goaltending the Jets received from Ondrej Pavelec. Though Winnipeg's ostensible backup didn't face much pressure in the game, he was competent in turning away 15 of the 16 shots he faced. Pavelec's performance was only the fifth quality start by a Jets goaltender in 21 games since the All-Star break.

Competent goaltending is all the Jets, a quality puck possession outfit with a deep blue line, really require. It's also something the club hasn't been able to rely on ever since arriving in Winnipeg. Will it cost them again this season?

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Jets Nation Recap: Winnipeg Jets soar in Tampa Bay

Garret Hohl
March 15 2015 12:44AM

The Winnipeg Jets win! The Winnipeg Jets win!

The Jets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in what was a more dominant performance than what the score makes it seem. Fans should not complain going on 2-2-0 on the road without arguably their best centre and best defender while playing against some formidable opponents.

In the first the Jets allowed a few more chances than what a team would normally like, but luckily Ondrej Pavelec shut things down.

After that it was almost all Jets, all the time. The Lightning struggled to handle the Jets fast and voracious forecheck. There was one slip up when Mark Stuart gave the formidable Nikita Kucherov too much room and the young forward capitalized with his 26th goal of the season.

The Jets made up for it though with a goal from Drew Stafford coming off the wall while on the power play. The goal was all new Jets, with both assists coming from Jiri Tlusty and Lee Stempniak. Blake Wheeler then took advantage of a defensive zone turnover, scoring the game winning goal for the Jets.

It's getting tight whether or not the Jets make the playoffs, but better maybe than not at all.

Let's break it down.

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Playoff Push #69: Winnipeg Jets wrap up road trip in Tampa Bay

Angelo Montilla
March 14 2015 12:05PM

After back-to-back losses on the road, the Winnipeg Jets are on the outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference heading in action Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Jets (33-23-12, 78 points), who wrap up a four-game road trip against the Lightning, are one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild-card spot with just 13 games remaining in the season.

To make matters worse, the Jets could be without another key defenceman after Tyler Myers left Thursday night's loss against the Florida Panthers. Myers awkwardly crashed into the boards, suffering an upper-body injury.

When asked if Myers would be ready to play against the Bolts, head coach told the Winnipeg Sun: "I don't know the answer to that. I won't have an update for you until tomorrow."

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March 14 2015 12:00PM

There are several high quality defensemen available in the 2015 draft but there's a range of opinion about the 'best available' at the position. Noah Hanifin remains the likely 'first defenseman off the board' but the Russian Prokorov has a lot of momentum as we head toward spring. The other name you hear about in the range of the top five overall? Zach Werenski.

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