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Jets grounded- year in review


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PRESEASON OUTLOOK They lost in the North to the Canadiens after Scheifele was suspended for a nasty hit on Jake Evans. Honestly? The Jets were the better team and it quite likely cost them their best chance ever at a cup final. They entered the year another year plder but with Scheifele, Conner, Hellboy, Ehlers, the hope was that they had another run in them.

 

FINAL RECORD 39-32-11 89 points, 6th in the Central.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They started the year 0-2-1 then caught fire stomping on everyone on the way to a 9-3-1 record. They looked bound and determined to make up for the missed opportunity from the year before. 

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR They followed that up with a five game losing streak, and for the rest of the year they teased by winning a few more than they lost followed by a losing streak. Four times they lost four or more games in a row, until the final four games of the year which they won, they never had a winning streak longer than three games after the first couple of weeks of the season. Midseason long time coach Paul Maurice threw up his hands in dismay and called it a career. 

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT Kyle Connor led the team in everything. 47 goals, 93 points, 28 on the power play, he turned into an absolute unstopable monster. Scheifele started slow but finished with 70 points in 67 games. Blake Wheeler started like age had caught up with him but finished strong with60 points in 65 games. PLD was vry solid. Ehlers missed 20 games but had 55 points including 28 goals. Stastny had a fine year in a supporting role. Morrisey, Pionk and Schmidt all were very sound. Lowry was his usual pesky self. playing for his Dad Comrie was surprisingly solid as the backup. Lots of kids got a look and most impressed. 

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Hellboy had a goals against of nearly 3 per game his worst year ever. Scheifele, Wheeler and Ehlers all missed between 15 and 20 games. Vesalainen had a long look and did not impress on any line. Lets be honest, overal individual talent wasnt bad, Hellboy slipped which was huge but that was about it. But as a TEAM they were consistently inconsistent. 

 

FREE AGENTS Stastny seems to like it there and they would love him back if the money fits. Comrie was just a filler as the backup and surprised as a damn good backup after years bouncing around. Both would we welcome back with open arms. They do have an extra second rounder from the Copp deal.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR As Kyle Connor goes so go the Jets to a ridiculous degree. He was held off the score sheet in only 21 games, they went 3-18-0 when he did not score. He missed three games, the Jets went 0-1-2 when he was out so here is the breakdown:

CONNOR PLAYED, DIDNT SCORE 3-18-0

CONNOR MISSED A GAME 0-1-2

CONNOR SCORES 36-13-9

 

  No other player that I found had such a trend. He is the heart and soul of the team and probably the most underrated superstar in the game.

 

KIDS ON THE HORIZON Morgan Barron came over in the Copp deal and is a top tier center prospect who will make the team out of camp and given every oppurtunity to succeed.  Cole Perfetti is a pure scorer and is probably going to stick next season.Ville Heinola will crack the top four on the defense and is a scoring blueliner. Mike Eysimont is an bit old for a rookie but could stick as a 4th line center of Lowry moves to the third line. David Gustafsson took a step back in the AHL but the team still thinks highlt of him, if Stastny doesnt return he could take his place. Defenseman Declan Chisolm is another nice puck moving defender who could stick next year.Kristian Reichel is another possible middle six forward who might stick. Dylan Samberg is sound as a shut down defender. Overall the Jets do not have a ton of blue chippers, but they are deep in the prospect pool with cheap hungry kids who want jobs now. 

 

OFFSEASON OUTLOOK They need to decide if they are going to rebuild or if the team they have has another run in them. In some ways the window has closed but in others, there are a lot of talented kids pushing for jobs, they may have as many as five rookies make the team to start the year and another four or more ridding the Manitoba shuttle. 

 

  Scheifele seems to be the teams possible scapegoat, his stupid penalty two years ago did cost them a deeper run, he was solid but not as good as in years past last year. There are a lot of rumors that he may be dealt, he has two years as a very nice 6 million dollar contract. I wouldnt do it, top line centers do not grow on trees. Wheeler is much closer to the end than the beginning but this is now a very young team and getting younger. I like where they are right now, no bad contracts hanging over them, lots of kids, I believe they are 80/20 chance of being a playoff team next year.

 

 

 

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