Getting to the playoffs
Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
By Angus Hout12 days ago
Be sure to check Betway to check out the latest Jets game day odds and bet on the NHL! The Winnipeg Jets third quarter felt like it was awful and the start to the final quarter of the season is looking even worse. There were long stretches without wins and a lack of goals for the Jets in quarter three of the season. Between games 41-60, the Jets went 9 -11-0 according to hockey-reference.com. Not nearly as bad as you would think but still pretty rough to win less than half of your games in a quarter of the season. Thankfully the first half of the season was good enough that the Jets can shrug that off. As we roll into the final 17 games for the Winnipeg Jets we need to consider what does it take to make the playoffs this season?
The Jets will have 17 games left this season. They will need to win 10 of those games to reach that marker of 95 points which looks like it should be the number to punch your ticket to the playoffs. The Jets will need to go on a minimum of 10-7-0 to make the playoffs. That’s just 58 percent of their points the Jets will need to pick up by the end of the season. The Jets will also need to keep their eyes on the rear-view mirror with the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators close behind.
The Jets have a very big hill to climb when it comes to the next four games. Three of their next four opponents are Eastern Conference playoff teams including the Tampa Bay, the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes. The fourth game is against the Florida Panthers who are still on the hunt for a playoff spot. These are games the Jets can win. They’re going to need to pick it up and take six of these eight points in order to stay competitive in the playoff race.
After these four the Jets will have a hard but reasonable schedule. Between now and the end of the season they will play four games against teams who will make the playoffs, three games against the Flames and Predators, and six games against the bottom 12 teams in the NHL.
The Jets have outshot and outplayed the Competitors in the last three games they have woken up and are challenging teams once again. Rick Bowness talked about the team’s effort after the game against the Minnesota Wild. “We have to play like that every night and if you play like that every night there’s no way the puck isn’t going to go in.”He is absolutely correct about that if the Jets play that kind of game in every game from now until the end of the playoffs they are going to win games and go into the playoffs hot. Hot teams win playoff rounds. Maybe this was the best time to get a cold.
The Calgary Flames
The Flames have played 65 games this season and have 71 points. They going to need to make up the extra two points against the Jets in 17 games. It’s not impossible but the Flames will need to play better than the Jets and will need to pick up 24 points to reach that magical number of 95 points. Currently, the Jets and Flames have played each other twice this season and both teams have scored five goals on the other. Real Spy vs. Spy thing going on. The two will play each other one more time on April 5th at Canada Life Centre.
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The boys from cow-town have the “easiest” schedule in the NHL to finish up their last 17 games. I think they have it significantly harder than the Jets. The Flames are playing nine games against the bottom 12 teams, four games against legit playoff teams and two games against the Predators and the Jets. The games against the playoff teams are basically a coin flip but the games against non-playoff teams might be games where their lesser opponents might step up and play spoiler against the Flames.
The Flames have won their last two games in two very different fashions. A 5-4 win over Dallas and a 1-0 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday and Tuesday night. Much like the Jets, the Flames had a sort of a bad quarter three of the season when it comes to teams that “should” be in the playoffs as they would go 8-7-5 between games 41-60.
The Flames’ head coach Darryl Sutter has been in Calgary for two years and his voice only works so long in a locker room if the Flames find themselves in any adversity the coach might not get his team turned around in time for the playoffs. The two wins this week could be a flash in the pan.
The Predators have four games in hand on the Jets and Flames but they only have 69(nice) points in their 61 games. Their schedule is pretty simalar to the Jets but with 11 games against legit playoff teams, two games against the Jets one against the Flames and four against bottom 12 teams and a handful of games against teams in the east who could make the playoffs but probably won’t.
The Predators had a big fire sale and don’t have much left with their roster. There’s some good pieces in Nashville like Roman Josi, Matt Duchene, and Juuse Saros but that won’t not enough to truly go on a big run. If the Predators want they could tank for a top ten pick in this year’s deep draft. Could they fall all the way to the bottom five in the NHL? That would be tough to lose that many games but it could happen for them.
I hope Nashville sees it that they could drop games get a decent draft pick and fall out of the race for the playoffs. I just need to remind myself these are professionals who want to win so they could be a dark horse playoff team that no one sees coming.
The next month is important for all three of these teams. There’s only so much hockey left and only one final wild card spot left in the west. Who’s going to take it?
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