Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
How can Kyle Connor score 50 goals
By Goose6 months ago
There have only been three Winnipeg Jets to score 50 goals in a season. Dale Hawerchuk in 1984/85 he would score 53 in 80 games. Teemu Selanne in his unreal rookie season would score 76 goals in 84 games during the 1992/93 season, Salanne would have two other 50-goal seasons with the Anaheim Ducks during the 1996/97 and 1997/98 seasons. The final Jet to do it was Kieth Tkachuk all the way back in 1995/96.
Since the return of the Jets in 2011 there has only been three Jets to score just 40 goals. 40 goals is still impressive but let’s pump those numbers up. Mark Scheifele the most recent member of the Jets 40 goal club would pocket 42 goals in 81 games this past season. Kyle Connor who has the most goals but a Jets 2.0 player in a single season would score 47 goals in 79 games in 2021/22. Patrik Laine would be the first Jet since the team left Atalanta to reach the 40-goal mark scoring 44 goals in 82 games during the memorable 2017/2018 season.
Connor is 26 and probably has the best chance to be the first 50-goal scorer in Winnipeg since Tkachuk. Like the Jets window for being a cup contender closing fast the chance for the Jets forward to be a 50-goal scorer in the NHL. Even if Connor never reaches that 50-goal mark he is still one of the Jets’ best of the era.
What needs to happen to hit 50?
Stay Healthy including your linemates
This is the most obvious one, stay healthy. The last player to score 50 or more goals in less than 75 games was Auston Matthews in 2021/22 he would hit the 50-goal marker in just 73 games before that was Evgeni Malkin in 2011/12 it would take 75 games for the Russian to score 50.
Connor has stayed healthy all of his career he has only missed three games since 2018/19. COVID-19 is to blame for the missed games. The real question is- can his linemates stay healthy for 82 games? Mark Scheifele who will most likely be on the top line with Connor all season isn’t a major source of concern when it comes to the injury bug. Nikolaj Ehlers the probable topline right winger does worry me. Ehlers hasn’t played a full season since 2017/18 who is going to step onto the top line with 81 and 55 and help them find success especially if they need to play on that line for an extended period of time?
Top line in Winnipeg please stay healthy and maybe put up a combined 120 goals.
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take- Wayne Gretzky”
– Micheal Scott
Connor loves to shoot the puck whether it’s those one-timers or the quick snipes. The man loves to put the puck on the net. In the last two seasons, he has 590 shot attempts. In 2021/22 Connor had 317 shots on goal compared to 2022/23 when he had 273 shots on goal. The shots on the net fell off but the man loves to shoot. Defencemen were taking away some space from the Jets forward last season, because of his near 50-goal season prior and you can not forget that he had zero puck luck early last season.
Between 2017 and 2021 Kyle Connor had a shooting percentage of 15.5 percent, last season it was 11.4 percent a lousy year for the 26-year-old forward which can be turned around.
Score some shorties
In his 47-goal season Connor would score three goals shorthanded in his most recent 31-goal effort he had zero.
Dale Hawerchuk scored three shorthanded goals in his 53-goal campaign.
Keith Tkachuk had two shorthanded goals in 1995-96 during his 50-goal campaign.
Teem Selanne had zero short-handed goals in his unreal 76 goals in his rookie season. what NHL coach is going to put a rookie on the powerplay? The two veteran players had time to score on a penalty kill. It would be an excellent place to find a handful of goals.
Be more selfish during the power play
Kyle Connor really needs to be more selfish on the power play. He only has scored eight power-play goals in each of the last two seasons. The guy needs to climb into the double digits of power goals. Look at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a power play merchant last season he scored 15 extra-man goals. If roughly one-quarter of Connor’s goals come off the power play there’s a good chance we’re talking about 50 goals in Winnipeg.
Score some empty netters
They only ask how many goals you scored not how you scored them. Some folks will say I’m suggesting the easy way out for Connor to score goals. Yes, it can be easy to find an open 6×4 net to put the puck into but no one is going to look in the history books and take away a 50-goal season from a guy because 10 percent of his goals were empty netters. He also opened his 31-goal season with an empty netter.
Be in your 20’s
Unless your name is Alexander Ovechkin you’re probably not scoring 50 goals a season over the age of 30. Connor is 26 turning 27 in December. He is in his prime right now own it and do all the scoring you can, it won’t get any easier as he gets older.
Use that speed and bury the greasy goals
Just find the greasy goals where you can. Kyle Connor didn’t score many rebounded goals last season but when he was it was all because of his speed and finding the puck before the opposing goalie could find the puck.
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