Photo Credit: © Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways From A Topsy-Turvy Week Two

The Winnipeg Jets have now wrapped up their second week of action after beating the Kings in their home opener on Tuesday before losing a temper filled affair in Nashville on Thursday.

Although the Jets are likely returning home with a bad taste in their mouth, they finished the week with a 1-1 record, the same as they did in the first week of the season. There is no reason for panic in Winnipeg as their .500 record leaves them in the middle of the pack in the early going.

There were plenty of question marks heading into week two, so what did we learn from the past two games? Here are some takeaways from the week that was.

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The Winnipeg Jets came out and played exactly the way they wanted during their home opener against the Kings. Although they got down early, they carried the play the entire game and had constant pressure in the Kings end. This is the exact style the Jets want to play this year as they keep coming in waves until one line eventually breaks through.

The Jets are extremely dangerous with their extended zone time because they are able to change while still maintaining the puck. This is how Scheifele was able to bury the opening marker as he got free against a tired defender as the Jets were in the middle of a line change.

While the Jets were able to possess the puck and lead in the shot department, they were only able to score two goals. This is slightly concerning because a team with as much talent as Winnipeg should be able to score more than two goals when getting 39 shots.

The other concerning aspect against the Kings was the play of Tyler Myers. As a whole, the Jets played very well defensively but Myers continues to have terrible lapses. He missed his assignment on the only Kings goal as he allowed Kovalchuk to beat him to the crease and tip in a nifty little pass.

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Next up was the Nashville Predators. Everyone knew that this game was going to be intense given the history these two teams have.

The first period was some of the most entertaining hockey I have ever seen. There were chances both ways as the teams were searching for that elusive first goal. Just as the Predators were stealing momentum, the Jets would take it back on the next shift. It was a back and forth affair that was a joy to watch.

Annnnnnd, then came the second period…

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The second period started like any other until the captain decided to throw his gloves to the ice without a willing partner. This caused the first of an outrageous string of penalties including five minor penalties, two major penalties and a ten minute misconduct to Tyler Myers, all in the second period. The end result was Winnipeg killing nine penalties throughout the game. The crazier thing was that Winnipeg managed to escape without allowing a single power play goal.

The main takeaway from this second period is that the Jets can still get careless at times. While they showed improvement last season in the amount of penalties taken, it seems that this team has the potential to lead the league once again with their undisciplined play.

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The second biggest takeaway is that the Jets may have a decent penalty kill this year. This was spearheaded by Josh Morrissey who had an eye-popping 10:37 of shorthanded ice-time. Beyond Morrissey, the rest of the group managed to force play to the outside and continually breakup zone entries at the line. This made the Predators dump the puck in and from there the Jets continually won the battles along the boards to get the puck out.

Once again, these were the main takeaways from the last two games, but there are some other points worth mentioning.

  • Nikolaj Ehlers got into the second fight of his career as his frustration boiled over after taking a late hit. Although Ehlers may not have won the fight, seeing him actively engaged in the game is great to see.

  • Patrik Laine has been a little sluggish to start the season. He scored in the first game but has now gone three straight without lighting the lamp. The important thing to note is that he is getting chances as he currently leads the entire roster in shots with 15 and in CF% at 63.46% . If the great possession numbers continue, he’s going to start scoring fairly soon.
  • Although the sample size is limited, the Roslovic, Vesalainen, Perreault line is leading the team with a CF% of 68.99%. Second is the Little, Ehlers, Laine line with a CF% of 64.17%, third is Tanev, Lowry, Copp with a CF% of 54.41% and last is the Scheifele line with a CF% of 44.11%. (All numbers 5 on 5, adjusted, courtesy of Corsica)
  • Connor Hellebuyck has been fairly sharp through the first four games and looked especially strong on the penalty kill. He was moving very well and stayed square to every shot on the penalty kill which allowed him to smother the rebounds consistently.