The Winnipeg Jets 3 stars for the week.
This past week saw the Jets get one point out of a possible 6 and it has hurt their chances immensely for making the playoffs. Dallas Stars have been winning as has the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Jets played well the last half of the game against the New York Islanders but it wasn’t enough as the Islanders won it in overtime, but the games against the Los Angeles Kings and the Ottawa Senators, was sporadic and a lack of concentration in key areas of the ice. They were caught watching the puck a few times and ended up in the back of the net. The Jets are going to need some help and a great run these last few weeks of the season if they want to make the playoffs. What a difference a week makes!
#3 Star goes to Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec played well in the Islanders game and was exceptional against the Kings. He was average against the Senators and ended up being pulled for Al Montoya, who played exceptional and most likely will get the next start, after the 5th goal, but overall he was the reason the Jets were in these games and gave them a chance to win. There wasn’t much to pick from for stars this week but it certainly was not a lack of goaltending. Pavelec stopped 38 of 41 shots against the Kings a stopped 25 of 27 against the Islanders.
#2 Star goes to Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien had a pretty good week scoring a goal against the Senators by teeing up a howitzer on the right side that beat Craig Anderson to the glove side off the cross bar. He was taking the body in all 3 games most notably against the Kings when he hammered Jake Muzzin and put him into the Jets’ players bench with a big hit. He was instrumental on the powerplay controlling the game and setting up some excellent scoring chances in every game which did reward him with an assist on one powerplay goal in the Ottawa game.
#1 Star goes to Andrew Ladd. Ladd scored both goals against the Islanders and added an assist against the Senators and was one of the few players that showed some grit in all 3 games this week. He was in a bad mood all week and when he gets in that type of mood he plays his best hockey and he almost single handedly beat the Islanders. You can’t question Ladd’s leadership and passion for winning. If the Jets do make the playoffs this year Ladd will be one of the reasons why.
It was a tough week for points but they aren’t out of it yet. Teams go through ups and downs and a week with 3 wins can change it all around. Losing Mark Scheifele has been a bigger blow than we could have imagined early in the season. The Jets are winless in 3 games since Scheifele’s injury including the game he was hurt in. This kid has been blossoming before our eyes and before he went down with a knee on knee hit, he was a threat to score on every shift. A lot of journalists in this city were whispering about sending Scheifele to the minors early in the season, what a mistake that would have been. You can’t get better seasoning than playing a regular shift in the NHL and he took that opportunity and ran with it. It will push expectations sky high next year, but in the mean time the Jets are going to have to dig down deep to pull off a playoff visit this season.
What are your 3 stars? Let us know on twitter @hkyattheforks