Winnipeg Jets Week in Review – Week 24

Winnipeg Jets Week in Review for Mar.  24 – 30 —

They may not be officially eliminated from the playoffs but losing two of three to start out this five-game road trip has put the nail in the playoff coffin.  With the end of the season rapidly approaching, the Jets are facing two big questions.  Who will coach this team next season?  Who will play goal for this team next season?  It’s shaping up to be a dramatic off-season ahead in Winnipeg.

Game 73 – at Dallas Stars

Final score: Dal – 2 Wpg – 1 

Game 74 – at San Jose Sharks

Final score: Wpg – 4 S.J. – 3

Game 75 – at Los Angeles Kings

Final score: L.A. – 4  Wpg – 2

 3 Stars of the Week:

 1.  Blake Wheeler –  Two goals, two assists for the week and was absolutely dominant in San Jose versus the Sharks.  Wheeler is establishing himself as the Jets best player as he looks poised to lead the jets in goals for the second straight season and points for the second time.  He also led the Jets in hits in Dallas and San Jose with five each game and led the team with 12 hits for the week.

BlakeWheelerroad

WHT 1st Star for Week 24

 2.  Bryan Little – A goal, three assists, oodles of ice time in all segments of the game.  Little has been Mr. Dependable for the Jets all season long.

Bryan Little

WHT 2nd Star for Week 24

 3.  Dustin Byfuglien – Continues to play left wing like it was the position he was born to play.  Well, except when you see him on the point on the power play which also loos like the position he was born to play.  Scary to think of Winnipeg’s power play without Big Buff.

Dustin Byfuglien

WHT 3rd Star for Week 24

 

Forwards: B  Other than one very bad period against Los Angeles and a hot goalie in Dallas, this team could have had much better results for the week.  The forwards were solid.  Special mention to Eric O’Dell who has been seeing increased ice time as the third line centre and proving he can handle the load.  It is hard to imagine him not seriously challenging for the role at training camp next season.

Defence: Solid effort for the week with a couple of costly gaffes sprinkled in.  Considering that two of their top three defenders to start the season weren’t there (Bogosian injured, Byfuglien up front), this crew had managed admirably.

Goaltending:  F (Pavelec)/C (Montoya) – Ondrej Pavelec’s return from injury lasted all of a period in Los Angeles where the opening goal was as soft as any he has given up this season and the second one wasn’t much better.  Montoya did get the win in San Jose and was solid in Dallas. 

Special teams:  Winnipeg’s special teams were kind of Jekyll and Hyde for the week.  The power play was very good – notching 4 goals in 11 tries for the week and being key to the Jets win in San Jose.  Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s penalty killing came into the week one of the very best in the league on the road.  But, the PK surrendered 4 goals on only 10 chances which is awful.

PowerplayA – The power play was really good.  Tobias Enstrom notched the PP winner in San Jose and the unit was the spark of comeback attempts in Dallas and LA.

Penalty kill F – A 60% kill rate on opposition power plays speaks for itself.  It was horrid.

Highlights of the Winnipeg Jets 4 – 3 victory over the San Jose Sharks 4:40

Comments:

What’s up with Ondrej?  It hasn’t been a great two weeks for the much-maligned Jets puckstopper andsome would debate the accuracy of that label.  First, he had a weak first period against the New York Rangers in Winnipeg on Mar.  14,th stopping 6 of 8 shots before being replaced by backup Al Montoya to start the second period.  Apparently, he was injured in first period action and spent two weeks on the shelf.  He finally saw action again 15 days later.  Well, as everyone saw, his first period against Los Angeles was abysmal and not that he was alone as the entire team was brutal.  But after allowing 3 goals on 16 shots, he was again replaced to start the second period.  That is 5 goals on the last 24 shots directed at Pavelec and that is just horrible.   His statistics have been regressing since his arrival in Winnipeg.  He has clearly lost the confidence of much of the fan base but it is unclear if he still has the confidence of his teammates and management.  Perhaps the biggest question is, whether he still has confidence in himself because it hasn’t looked or felt like it over the past three weeks or so.

The Pavelec situation will be an oft-discussed off season subject among Jets fans with many hoping Pavelec is either traded or even bought out by the team.  With some very strong looking prospects in the Jets system, many fans want the team to move forward without Pavelec.

Untouchables?  Prevailing wisdom going into this season was that although there truly aren’t any untouchables in pro sports, the Winnipeg Jets’ Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian were pretty darn close.  Has the prevailing wisdom changed on that?  Both players were outstanding in their first season after the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg to become the Winnipeg Jets.  Both players have regressed since those impressive introductions. 

Bogosian is injury-plagued and Kane has been hampered by injuries but his numbers have been sliding the last two years and many fans have tired of Kane’s signature move of skating up along the boards and firing a low-percentage shot.  Meanwhile, both players are signed to lengthy, lucrative contracts.  Many fans are looking for Jets management to make dramatic changes to the Jets roster. 

For most, the untouchables now would be Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele.  Is it conceivable that Jets management could look at moving Bogosian or Kane to shake up the team?  Or, is it too early to give up on the potential these two young players have shown?

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WHTGuys (47 Posts)


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