Not all of the Winnipeg Jets will be staying at home during the Olympic break, but compared to some, their numbers are small. Despite losing the chance to represent their country, these players may hold an advantage when the NHL season resumes for the sprint to the playoffs.
For some, the Olympic break contains travel, hockey, and pressure. For most of the Jets, those two weeks off will give them valuable time to step away from the game, and focus on the smaller things in life.
Yes, Ondrej Pavelec, Michael Frolik, Blake Wheeler, and Olli Jokinen will be making the trip to Sochi, but the Jets won’t have to worry too much, as those players will be able to handle the pressure and strain the Olympics put on the body and mind. Teams like Chicago and St. Louis (who are both sending 10 different players to the tournament) could come back with injuries, fatigue, or weak legs from all of the travel that will take place.
The Jets’ youngest guns will remain home, no surprise to anyone; Players like Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba, who are both far too young to be considered for the Olympic team, will stay home and focus on the second half of their season, making sure their young bodies can keep up with the pressure of their first 82-game seasons in the NHL.
As for goaltending, the Jets are in a rare good position, with both Pavelec and Al Montoya playing outstanding as of late. With Pavelec going into Sochi as the nation’s #1 goalie, the Jets starter may experience a setback in his play. Montoya can come in for 2-3 games, and help Jets’ coach Paul Maurice ease Pavelec back into play.
In a dream world, the Jets will come back after the break with a new level of energy, and take care of tired teams, warming up heading into the final playoff push. However, a lot can happen between now and then, and as Winnipeg fans know, it doesn’t always work out in their favour.
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