The Winnipeg Jets had two games this week. Things got started on Saturday, Oct. 26 when they took on the Calgary Flames in the 2019 Heritage Classic. Bryan Little and Connor Hellebuyck had very strong performances in that game to help secure the 2-1 overtime win.
The Jets – once again – followed that one up with another lackluster performance against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, Oct. 29. This team just cannot seem to get things figured out in consecutive games and have not won back-to-back games since the three-game winning streak they went on during the second week of the season.
With that said, let’s find out which players earned this week’s three-star nominations. It was a close call on the third star of the week with an honourable mention going to Jack Roslovic who has been solid over the last few games.
3rd Star: Connor Hellebuyck
Hellebuyck had an outstanding game against the Flames in the Heritage Classic – stopping 29 of 30 shots in the 2-1 win. He had strung together a solid stretch of games until his most recent start against the Ducks on Tuesday where he got pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots.
I am still going with Hellebuyck as the third star for his strong performance on Saturday. The Jets do not win that game if he was not as good as he was in the below-freezing temperatures. His current save percentage for the season is .921 – good for 14th in the league as of Oct. 30.
2nd Star: Bryan Little
Little has been solid since returning to the Jets’ lineup on Oct. 20 against the Edmonton Oilers. He has put up four points in four games thus far and scored the overtime winner against the Flames in the Heritage Classic.
Little followed that up with a two-point performance (one goal, one assist) against the Ducks on Tuesday and has seen his ice time hover between the 16-17 minute mark. He currently averages nearly a minute more per game than he did last season as he continues to hold down the second-line center spot. He and his line have been stellar at controlling the play – Little is currently sitting at a 63.6% Corsi rating.
Little’s strong play since being back in the lineup and more specifically his past two games have earned him this week’s second star.
1st Star: Nikolaj Ehlers
Ehlers has seen time on the first and second line over the last two games. His strong performances in both of those games have earned himself the first star of the week. He put up two goals and one assist against the Ducks and has averaged nearly 20 minutes of ice time over the last two games.
Ehlers has been hot to start the 2019-20 season – currently sitting with 13 points through the first 13 games. He is sitting at a 59.1% Corsi rating thus far and has been solid with his zone entries as per usual with the speedster.
Keeping Roslovic with Ehlers might be something head coach Paul Maurice should consider moving forward – even with Adam Lowry and Patrik Laine coming back into the lineup soon. They looked great on Tuesday and it was really nice to see a guy like Roslovic get a shot in the top-six – especially for the sole reason of matching his speed with Ehlers’.
We are going to be keeping a tally on who earns player of the week throughout the 2019-20 season – the first star gets you three points, second star gets you two points, and third star gets you one point. Here is our current total thus far with Ehlers leading the way through the first month of the season.
- Nikolaj Ehlers: 8 points
- Connor Hellebuyck: 6 points
- Mark Scheifele: 3 points
- Patrik Laine: 2 points
- Bryan Little: 2 points
- Ville Heinola: 1 point
- Josh Morrissey: 1 point
- Adam Lowry: 1 point
Ryan is very passionate about the game of hockey and loves being at the rink. He is a current regional scout in his home province of Manitoba and a graduate of SMWW. He has played the game since the age of five at many different levels and is always looking to find new ways to stay involved. In his free time when he isn’t busy at the rinks or writing articles/reports, Ryan enjoys spending quality time with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter @Goet91.