The Jets are nearly a quarter way through their season and the team has its ups and downs so far. After a quick start, the Jets have slumped recently and now find themselves chasing a playoff spot. Twenty games are often a good point to extrapolate the season and the standings at the is point are often very similar to what fans will see by the end of the year. The Jets have some work to do but thanks to their quick start, the hole they have dug the last couple weeks is not as deep as it could be. Everything is not doom and gloom in Winnipeg, but there are definitely things the Jets have to work on.
Nikolaj Ehlers is one of the lone bright spots on this team on a night to night basis. The Jets found themselves a star when they picked Ehlers in the first round last year. The young Dane has put up 10 points in his 19 games this year but has dazzled fans with his creativity and skills with the puck.
You can really see how Nik Ehlers has added an appealing element of explosiveness to the Jets.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) November 5, 2015
Ehlers gives Winnipeg something they have not had since the relocation, a bona fide offensive star. While he obviously still has some growing up to do, Ehlers has impressed fans all around the league with his moves and shiftiness with the puck. It is clear there is a superstar in the making in Winnipeg and Jets fans have a lot to look forward to with young Ehlers.
Whether it is game to game, period to period, or shift to shift, consistency has been non-existent for the Jets this season. They have not strung a full 60 minutes together this year, and fans have had no idea what to expect night to-night. Look at the last two Jets games for the perfect example. Saturday night Winnipeg came out and just laid an egg in Tennessee, giving up a touchdown to the Predators and hardly put up a fight until the third period. It was a pitiful performance from a team that some expected tone among the top in the Central division. However in response, the Jets showed up in St. Louis and showed what kind of team they are capable of being. Despite falling down 2-0 early, Winnipeg battled all game and lost a close decision 3-2. It was a tight game and a result that would probably go the other five out of 10 games. Winnipeg has stuck with some of the best teams in this league, even beating some, but they have also had nights where they looked like the worst team in the league. If the Jets want to be successful this season the need to find some consistency.
One word, discipline. It is simple for the Jets, no other team has been less disciplined, Winnipeg has taken so many penalties, and have spent so much time shorthanded, there is no surprise that Winnipeg has struggled to find success.
The Jets are still taking a lot of penalties https://t.co/d9onWq6FYe
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) November 11, 2015
The article by NBC points out a constant problem for the Jets, and one that is not new. Winnipeg had the same issue last season, leading the league in minor penalties, and struggling to stay out of the box all year. The numbers are clear, the Jets have been shorthanded 77 times, they have spent over 30 minutes more on the penalty kill than they have on the power play. The Jets have taken more penalties than any other team in the league, nearly 50 minutes more than the next team and nearly 200 more than the top team in the league. It is a ridiculous stat, and if the Jets continue this trend they will miss the playoffs.
Born and raised Winnipeg sports fan and contributor with The Hockey Writers.