Usually after a game like Winnipeg played last night in Colorado, I like to take a few hours and sleep it off, calm down, and gain perspective. When it all boils down I, like most of the others writing for the site, and probably all of you reading, am first and foremost a fan. We love the Jets, we love talking Jets, and a game like this hurts. The Jets were utterly dominated for 60 minutes, gave up a touchdown on the scoreboard, and lost their third in a row, sixth of their last eight.
The question bothering so many Jets fans is what is wrong with this team the last month or so. Winnipeg is supposed to contend for the cup, they have been one of the favourites all year, and with the trade deadline approaching, they are the team that is supposed to make a big splash to push them all the way to the finals. It was plain to see that the Jets team that showed up in Colorado gave their worst performance of the year, but they haven’t been good for a couple of weeks, and some would say this team has been on the decline since Christmas. I wonder though, has this team really changed in the last month and a half, or is it just the results?
Under performing or Overrated?
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) February 21, 2019
When you open the stats page it looks fine initially. Winnipeg is still in first place in the Central, and have been for much of the year. They have scored goals, and the back-end has held together enough. When you start looking deeper however, the story is not so good, and it hasn’t been good much this season. Expected goals takes into consideration how many shot attempts a team makes and gives up, and further analyzes those attempts by looking at factors such as the distance, angle and shot type. As the chart above shows, the Jets expected differential has plummeted recently, the stats don’t only say they shouldn’t be winning games, but that Winnipeg got exactly what they deserved in Colorado.
When you examine the numbers though, February shows the worst of it, but there are not a lot of encouraging signs. Outside of a strong December where the Jets looked dominant for large stretches, the stats show that this team may have been overachieving early this season. The eye test tells me the same thing. A common narrative this season has been the Jets being dominated for large portions of games. Earlier in the year Winnipeg would play a good period, sometimes less, and managed to leave games with two points. Numerous times we have watched games this season and felt like the Jets got more than they deserved, and the stats show the same thing. Winnipeg has been an average, or below average, team for much of the year.
If Winnipeg wants to contend for a cup this year there are some aspects of this game they need to change and change fast.
That, or the Jets just lost 7-1, I’m over reacting, and the sun will rise again in the morning, who knows?