The Winnipeg Jets are a funny team. The team wins when it seems as if it should lose, and then loses when things point to an easy chance for a win. Case in point? The team’s last two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Specifically, on October 8th, the team skated into Pittsburgh and beat the Penguins 4-1. Then, on October 13th, a beat-up Penguins’ team limped into Winnipeg and simply overwhelmed the Jets 7-2. What’s up wid dat?
Until that shellacking, the Jets were having a great week with wins over Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Chicago. How can fans make sense of that? That’s hockey I guess.
In this post, I want to keep Jets’ fans up-to-date on the player news that’s emanating from the team.
Item One: Patrik Laine Named Second Star of the Week for October 13th
NHL.com reported that the fourth-year Finish right-winger Patrik Laine was named the second star of the week for the week ending October 13. During the four games he played during the week, Laine had two goals and six assists. Currently, he’s tied for the NHL lead with eight assists, three goals, and 11 points in seven games. Although that pace is unsustainable, unless you’re Wayne Gretzky, Laine is on pace for 129 points for the season.
Item Two: Mark Scheifele Scores His First Power-play Goal
Scheifele was a horrid minus-4 in the 7-2 loss to the Penguins. However, he scored his first power-play goal of the season and has had at least one point in six of the team’s seven games. This goal was his second in back-to-back games.
Forgetting the lousy plus/minus rating, Scheifele’s been solid during the first part of the season and has two goals, seven assists, and nine points with a plus-5 rating. Last season, the 26-year-old Scheifele has a career season with 38 goals, 46 assists, for 84 points in 82 games.
Item Three: Mathieu Perreault Scores in Loss to the Penguins
Although he only had one shot on goal, Mathieu Perreault made it count. It was his second goal of the season and it put the Jets ahead. Sadly, that lead didn’t last long and the team was blown out in periods two and three.
The 31-year-old Perreault is skating in a bottom-six role and has generated only one shot on goal in four of his seven games. He played all 82 Jets’ games last season, scoring 15 goals, 15 assists, for 30 points.
Item Four: Laurent Brossoit and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
As you can note from the sub-title, the 7-2 loss to the Penguins was less than fun for Brossoit, who gave up seven goals on 28 shots. It was Brossoit’s third start of the season and he was doing OK through the first period. Then the blades fell off his skates (metaphor) and the Penguins dominated the final two periods, scoring three goals in each.
Honestly, it wasn’t all Brossoit’s fault. He was abandoned often by the team’s still-struggling defense (and there doesn’t seem much hope on the horizon unless Dustin Byfuglien suddenly emerges ready to rumble, but that doesn’t look likely.) The defense is young and will likely improve, but it remains a work in progress until then.
Brossoit has given up four, four, and seven goals in his three starts in 2019-20 and is 1-2-0 with a 4.86 GAA and a .850 save percentage. That doesn’t cut it.
Item Five: Andrew Copp Scores His First Goal of Season
The 25-year-old Jets’ center Andrew Copp is one of those guys you don’t hear much about, but he’s in his sixth season with the Jets. During the Jets’ 3-2 overtime win in Chicago, Copp scored a goal and had three hits. In fact, Copp’s backdoor goal tied the game 2-2 during the middle of the third period and sent the game into overtime.
It was Copp’s first goal of the season. Last season, he scored 11 goals, 14 assists, for 25 points in 69 games. The depth center will likely return to his regular bottom-six role when Bryan Little returns from his concussion.
Item Six: Nikolaj Ehlers Is Off to a Better Start This Season than Last
Nikolaj Ehlers had, for him, a poor season in 2018-19, when he scored “only” 21 goals, 16 assists, for 37 points in 62 games. Lucky for the Jets, he’s started stronger this season. In the 3-2 overtime victory in Chicago on Saturday, he scored a power-play goal and an assist.
In that game, the Jets were down 2-0 but came roaring all the way back. Thanks to Ehlers for sparking that comeback. He got the Jets’ first goal during the second period and assisted on Copp’s game-tying goal in the third. Ehlers has been a 20-goal scorer during the last three seasons and has seven points in seven games this season.
What’s Next for the Winnipeg Jets?
This week they are home for all three as they take on Arizona, the New York Islanders and Edmonton. The team has a chance to win at least two of those games. Good luck to them.
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