Winnipeg Jets Week in Review – Week 25

Winnipeg Jets Week In Review For Mar. 31 – Apr 6, 2014 —

The Winnipeg Jets went into the second last week of the season with fading playoff hopes.  The math still said there was a chance but the win one lose one results simply may be too much to overcome.  The Jets were on the tail end of a 5 game roads trip through California and Arizona where the biggest bright spot would have been the number of fans who travelled with the team. The sounds of “True North” are still echoing in the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.  To say the support was great would be an understatement.  Despite all that support the week ended with some inconsistent play and a 2-1-1 record and the mathematical elimination from the playoffs.

Game 76 — at Anaheim

Final score:  Ana — 5      Wpg — 4 (OT)     

Game 77 at Phoenix

Final score:  Wpg  — 2     Pho  — 1 (SO)

Game 78 vs Pittsburgh 

Final score:  Pitt  — 4     Wpg — 2

Game 79 at Toronto 

Final score:  Wpg  — 4     Tor — 2

Winnipeg Jets 3 Stars of the week:

Blake Wheeler  —  1 goal and 3 assists

Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler

Andrew Ladd — 1 goal and 2 assists

Jets-Wild-11

 

Bryan Little — 1 goal and 2 assists

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Honourable mention:

Michael Frolik —  3 assists

Forwards:   C+   When you score 2.75 goals per game it simply isn’t enough despite getting some balanced scoring this past week.  Contributions for the 3rd and 4th line were there.  As seen in the Anaheim, LA and Pittsburgh games over the last week or so consistency is an issue along with an effort to contribute defensively.

Defence:   C+   The defence has been okay on a player by play basis.  They have contributed to the offense but as has been the case all year team defense and a penchant for backing into the defensive to quickly has resulted in a 3 goals per game against average.

Goalie:   C-  The goaltending in Winnipeg has reached a boiling point with many.  Pavelec’s time with the Winnipeg Jets may be nearing its end and with some of the soft goals given up simply have been nothing short of unacceptable as a number one goalie.  Pavelec ended the week with a .892 save% and a 2.96 GAA despite a 2-1-1 record.  No matter what league that is not going to get it done.

Special teams:  The special teams have flip flopped of late where the once strong penalty killing kept us in games has really underperformed.  The power play that could have gotten us a few more wins given all the one goal games is now operating at a more acceptable rate.  That said, until there is balance with respect to the special teams the Jets will find it hard to find themselves on the right side of the one goal games and ultimately playoff line. It does appear that the parade to the penalty box has ended.

Powerplay — B+  2 – 9 or 22.2%

Penalty kill —   3 – 9 or 66.7%

Comments:

The “fat lady” officially has sung and the Winnipeg Jets are once again relegated to role of spoiler.  This team has definitely taken on the persona of its coach and talking a good game as it relates to continuing to establish the right mind set and approach to every game.  There have been some incredible efforts like the first 40 minutes in Anaheim that are simply made irrelevant by the last 20 minutes of the same game.  How do you blow a 4-1 lead going into the third and not question this teams killer instinct.

We have often heard Claude Noel and now Coach Maurice speak to the compete level and how much these players care.  Those are vital characteristics to have on any team but you have still question that heart and desire when the fold like a cheap tent every time some adversity or pressure hits them.  Bryan Little’s quote of how he thinks there’s too much pressure and unrealistic expectations is a prime example of how this collection of player think and approach success.  Their best hockey is played in an underdog role and after they play a stinker of a game.  You can’t be your best every night but how does a team demonstrate so many high and lows within a period, a game, a week and season.  It can only be attributed to confidence and strength of character. 

This version of the Winnipeg Jets do not consistently demonstrate of those qualities and its time for Chevy to acknowledge what he has and change the dynamic of the room.  Jets fans, if a trade this summer is not made or players brought in through Free Agency to significantly change the culture then this team is in big trouble.  As it stands they will not be a playoff team for quite some time and quality players like Scheifele and Trouba will have been exposed to this culture for too long.

There has been a lot made of the Kane situation this past weekend and his healthy scratch.  His contract structure and skill set certainly make him a logical candidate to trade in exchange for quality NHL’ers and draft picks.  However, lets look at it this way. What has this franchise done to create the ideal situation for Kane to thrive in?  I don’t blame coaching for holding on to lines that have shown chemistry and results but at the end of the day Evander Kane has not been put in a great situation to have consistent success and shipping him out of town then becomes a testament of Kevin Cheveldayoff’s ability to put the right pieces together.

Finally, Ondrej Pavelec development curve has hit a wall in a big way.  Given his age and experience you would think his results would show continual improvement but in fact its regressing.  Is Pavelec a victim of a bad environment and coaching?  The Pavelec supporters would definitely agree with that statement and I believe it to be true as well.  But here’s the difference.  Its now too late to wait another year or two for Pavelec to regain confidence and become a true number one goalie for the Winnipeg Jets.  The team and player would strongly benefit from a change of scenery and with the signing of Connor Hellebuyck this week the future is no longer with Pavelec.

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Darryl Manchulenko (21 Posts)


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