After a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames last night, the Winnipeg Jets extended their strong play. The Jets are on a three-game winning streak that has them tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for first in the NHL’s North Division.
Tonight the Jets look to push that good play even further tonight against the same Flames. The Flames look to respond themselves. After a strong start when new head coach Darryl Sutter took control of the team, the Flames have been struggling lately. It was their fourth-straight loss.
In this post, I’ll provide commentary on last night’s game and look further into what’s going on with the team into the future.
Item One: Connor Hellebuyck Wins Again
Connor Hellebuyck stopped all but two shots out of 26 during Friday’s 3-2 win over the Flames. He’s been on his game recently. He had entered this game coming off back-to-back victories against the Vancouver Canucks and has allowed only three goals during his last three outings. The 27-year-old reigning Vezina Trophy winner added his 16th win of the season against the Flames.
Hellebuyck started strong on the night and held the Flames off the score sheet for the first two period and finally gave up a power play during the third. The Flames added a goal late to make the game seem closer than it was. Hellebuyck now has a record of 16-9-2; and, as I noted, currently is riding a three-game winning streak.
Item Two: Kyle Conner Scores a Goal and an Assist in the 3-2 Win
Kyle Connor scored two points in Friday’s win victory over the Flames. He assisted the the Jets’ first goal of the game scored Blake Wheeler. Then, early in the second period, he scored his own goal to up the score to 2-0. He now has 17 goals (first on the Jets) and 15 assists (for 32 points) in 34 games on the season.
Connor is the third-leading Jets’ scorer. His two-point game stopped a bit of a scoring skid for him. Prior to last night, he’d only scored a single assist in his last four games. He’s scored 10 points on the power play.
Item Three: Paul Stastny Scores Two More Points in March
Paul Stastny scored two power-play points to give him 11 points in 14 games in the month of March. The 35-year-old hasn’t slowed down much and now has scored 11 goals and 11 assists (for 22 points) during the 2020-21 season.
Item Four: Tucker Poolman Finally Scores
Tucker Poolman had an assist on Connor’s second-period goal, which gave him his first point of any kind in 20 games on the season. He’s had a tough season with injuries, and it’s good to see his name on the score sheet.
Item Five: Mark Scheifele Scores a Power-Play Assist
Scheifele registered a power-play assist to move his point total to 40 in 34 games on the season. That ranks the 28-year-old center fifth in the NHL in point scoring. Of his points, 12 have been on the power play.
Item Six: Blake Wheeler Scores Two Points in the 3-2 Win Over Calgary
During Friday’s game, 34-year-old Blake Wheeler scored two points on the power-play to give him 30 points in 34 games on the season. Of those 34 points, 13 have been on the power play. Given that he’s both playing first-line minutes and is on the Jets’ first-unit power play, he’s likely to continue his scoring.
This is Wheeler’s 10th season in Winnipeg (and 11th with the organization – he moved with the team from Atlanta). He’s been a huge producer since he was traded from the Boston Bruins to the Thrashers in February 2011 with Mark Stuart for Boris Valábik and Rich Peverley. It was a good trade for the Jets.
What’s Next for the Jets?
Laurent Brossoit will give Hellebuyck a rest and will play against the Flames in their game this evening. Brossoit’s last game was a loss to the Edmonton Oilers, where he gave up two goals and lost 2-1. Hellebuyck will likely be in the net on Monday night for the last of the the three-game mini-series against the versus the Flames.
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