What the Winnipeg Jets need to do for their final 30 games
Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
By Angus Hout1 month ago
Welcome to Jets Nation brought to you by NHL bets site Betway! We are on the home stretch of the 2022-23 NHL regular season. The Winnipeg Jets are still fighting for first in the Western Conference and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they could be the best in the west when the season comes to an end. Before we get to the end of the season the Jets will need to do a couple of things.
Name your Captain
This team has the potential to win it all if Kevin Cheveldayoff is willing to push some big chips in. You need a captain going into the playoffs. No one has won a Stanley Cup without a captain since the Boston Bruins in 1972. The Vegas Golden Knights almost did it in the first season but that’s because everyone was new to the team and system.
It’s great the Jets have a good room dynamic but they need a leading voice in their democracy. It might be an unorthodox thought but why not let the team vote on their captain? If the room is as healthy as they say it is let a vote happen for their leading player’s voice.
There are a handful of guys on this team who could be the bonafide leader of the team from what we see on television every game. The obvious three are Mark Scheifele, Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry who all wear an “A” on their chest. Nikolaj Ehlers who loves the City of Winnipeg and the Jets should be in talks for that leadership role as well if he is going to be here for the long haul and can stay healthy.
If you don’t like the voting thing and you want management to give the captaincy to someone it has to be Morrissey. It’s not just because he’s found his offensive game but because he has been a leader for a long time who has never complained to the media. He’s been putting the team on his back and he’s locked up with the Jets until 2028. He has proven he’s a leader he’s going to stay here and have a lasting impact on this organization.
Have enough points to make the Playoffs (Duh)
This feels so dumb to write but the two weeks before the break, the Jets were not good. They went 3-5 and were for the most part taking on the bottom feeders of the NHL. The team was tired. I don’t care what you say the team was drained they needed a break, and most of the boy’s tanks were empty. As of right now, if a team in the west wants to make the playoffs it looks like they’ll need to pick up a total of 98-99 points just to make the cut.
The Jets currently have 65 points which means they need 33 points or need to win 55 percent of games. When the Jets return on Feb. 11 they will play 30 games in 62 nights.
If the Jets want to be a lock for the playoffs and maybe even want to win the Division they need to beat the bottom teams who are in the bottom 16 whenever the Jets meet them. The Jets will play the bottom 16 teams 14 times between now and the end of the regular season. The Jets will need to take these teams down and steal points from them even if the Jets can steal 20 of 28 points from those teams that’s 71 percent of those points. If they pull off that task they just need 13 more points.
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The Jets will have five games against teams who are higher than them in the standings. The Boston Bruins, The Carolina Hurricanes The New Jersey Devils twice and the Tampa Bay lighting. Ideally, the Jets would win all these games just to feel comfortable making a deep playoff push. That’s unlikely to happen because the quality of the top seven in the NHL is unreal but if the Jets went and won three of those five games you still feel good about them making a big push.
The Jets will have eight games against teams they could face in the first two rounds of the playoffs including The Minnesota Wild, The Colorado Avalanche the Edmonton Oilers and the LA Kings. These games are going to be some of the hardest fought in the regular season. Everyone in this crew of teams has something to prove and they all need to pick up those points to be in the playoffs. If the Jets can show up for these games they should be able to walk away with five or six wins.
Put simply the Jets need to win games and know it won’t be an easy task making the playoffs but the numbers are in their favour.
More goals from the Bottom six
Sam Gagner currently leads the Jets in goal-scoring with eight goals, while Adam Lowry leads the bottom six in points with 24. The bottom six has been blended a whole lot this season because of injuries and a good cast of players, but there should be at least one bottom sixer who has 30 points or 10 goals by this point in the season. Lowry has been snake bitten when it comes to goals over the last twenty-some-odd games but no one else has stepped up to be “that guy” on the bottom six on a regular basis.
The Jets need to find a player who can consistently play middle six minutes and maybe even push Blake Wheeler down to the third line. Wheeler just doesn’t have that edge to his game. Whether it’s getting older or not having enough testosterone Wheeler has lost that bite to his game and might need to take on less talented players to still be a major asset to the Jets.
Frank Servalli wrote about Brock Boesor and which teams he could land with. The Jets weren’t a team on his list but the Vancouver Canuck are having a fire sale and Boeser could go for as little as a second-rounder. The Jets would need to clear some cap space since there are two years remaining on his contract after this season. The potential for Boesor could be upwards of 30 goals if playing along Scheifele and Cole Perfetti. On the low end, he could be a 20-goal-a-year scorer over the next two seasons.
Read all of Frank’s article to get the whole low down on Boeser and why he may or may not be a good add for the Jets but that is a name that excites me.
What else would you like to see the do the Jets need to do before the playoffs start?
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