logo

Are the Winnipeg Jets the best mid team?

alt
Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Goose
By Goose
2 months ago
Say what you will about the Winnipeg Jets, but they are a fun team to watch. Over the last few seasons, they have resembled a good relationship gone bad. The first half is great and even feels too good at times. However, as you approach the halfway point, you can see the cracks starting to develop, and before you know it, you’re holding on for dear life before it all comes crashing down.
As much as I don’t want to believe that a collapse will happen this year, I am starting to see the same old Jets emerge once again. We are entering the part of the year where the sloppy wins are just swept under the rug, like the recent 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes where the Jets couldn’t get a shot on the Hurricanes for the first 16 and a half minutes of the game.
I would go back as far as November 17th when the Jets played the Buffalo Sabres and won; that’s how long the team has been playing subpar hockey but finding ways to win. Either through goalies Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit playing like madmen or having lucky bounces go their way.
The cracks truly showed up in the three-game losing streak that occurred after the five-game winning streak. Being tired at the end of the road trip and playing just OK hockey against the Nashville Predators led to the first loss. Then, facing the big, mean Dallas Stars, who are now second in the Central division, the Jets battled well but couldn’t muster many quality shots on American goaltender Jake Oettinger.
Finally, in the last game, the Jets lost 3-1 to the Edmonton Oilers on November 30th. Cole Perfetti scored the only Jets goal, a beauty on the power play. However, the team hunkered down and thought they could win a 1-0 game against the two best players in the world. It was arrogant to think that way. It’s also a bit of a joke that the Jets could only manage 26 shots on Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner, who isn’t having a great year with a record of 8-7-0, a 3.16 goals-against average, and an .881 save percentage.
I don’t want to break down every game in this article, but the quality of this team has taken a noticeable drop off. It’s not that the players aren’t trying. This is a team that gives you consistency day in and day out; the only issue is a lack of true talent. Yes, I am aware of the talent on this team: Kyle Connor is a great scorer, Mark Scheifele is looking to complete his 200-foot game, Perfetti is coming into his own, and the LAN line is looking great day in and day out.
The defense, which is definitely the weakest point for this club, has greatness in it. Josh Morrissey is looking to be a Norris Trophy finalist once again. Brendan Dillon is looking good and having probably his best season ever.Dylan Samberg had a less than ideal start to his sophomore season but is bouncing back. There’s a lot to like about the defence even when it’s not that great.
After praising the majority of the players, what am I getting at here? The team lacks that “elite” player, someone who can put the game on his stick, especially when it matters and can go out there and win them the game. We all know the Jets’ top six can score at any given time, but when the Jets are down and out, who can be the guy to get them that late goal on a regular basis?
I look at the Hurricanes and the Jets as being similar teams in different conferences. Both teams lack that number one stud, but they play a brand of hockey that gives you hope until they face the big, bad top five teams in the NHL. While it’s fun to watch the Jets, I truly fear the playoffs for this squad. They don’t have the wow factor to be “great.”
It doesn’t happen often, but you can’t blue-collar your way to a Stanley Cup. It’s great that the Jets have a team that represents the City of Winnipeg well, but if we want to see the Jets get past the 1st or even the second round, they’re going to need to find that “elite” player; otherwise, the Jets will continue to be in the hellish middle of the NHL.
 

Check out these posts...