Welcome to Jets Weekly, where you can catch up on the past week of Winnipeg Jets hockey. From hot topics to news and notes, this is where you can find all things Jets related throughout the 2019-20 season.
The past week saw the Jets go 2-1 on their three-game road trip in California and Nevada. The Jets started off with a poor performance in Anaheim against the Ducks, losing 7-4 with Connor Hellebuyck having one of his worst games since the beginning of the season.
Things were not much better in San Jose against the Sharks as they squeaked out a win after allowing a season-high 53 shots on goal. You will not win many games in the NHL doing that but the Jets managed to pull one thanks to a late third-period goal by Nikolaj Ehlers and the stellar play of Hellebuyck which we will get into later in this article.
The Jets’ best performance came in a 4-3 overtime win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 2 and even that one was not pretty. Things looked rough in the first period and I think it is safe to say Adam Lowry gave the team a spark in the second period. A two-goal, third-period comeback and a late overtime winner by Kyle Connor secured the win in yet another surprising victory. Are these wins the real deal and a team turning the corner or is it all smoke and mirrors?
Lowry Dodges More Punishment
Adam Lowry delivered yet another controversial hit in his first game back after serving his two-game suspension for boarding Calgary Flames’ defenseman Oliver Kylington in the Heritage Classic on Oct. 26.
It appears Lowry will avoid any supplementary discipline for his hit on Golden Knights’ forward Alex Tuch on Nov. 2. The NHL has reviewed the play and determined no further discipline is necessary – Lowry could have potentially been looking at a three- to five-game suspension and in my opinion, is lucky to get off with nothing.
The initial contact was at the hips but Lowry definitely followed through with his elbow a little more than he should of and caught Tuch in the head. With the way the NHL is heading these days, I am very surprised nothing is being given out to Lowry, but in the same breath, the NHL Player Safety is often unpredictable with their punishments or lack thereof.
Jets Can Thank Hellebuyck
The Jets can thank Hellebuyck for yet another win – the 26-year-old came up huge in a record-setting, 51-save win against the Sharks on Nov. 1. He set a team record for most saves in an individual game and was absolutely dynamite in the third period when the Jets needed him the most.
Hellebuyck currently has some outstanding numbers to start the 2019-20 season with 2.57 goals against average (GAA) and a .927 save percentage (SV%). He is responsible for a number of the Jets’ wins this season and has been exactly what the team needs as they go through their massive transition of defensemen.
Is Maurice Starting to Call Player’s Out?
Head coach Paul Maurice is starting to voice his opinions of his players’ performances a little more than usual. He called out Tucker Poolman and Kyle Connor after the game against the Ducks on Oct. 29 and followed that up by calling out Jack Roslovic after the game against the Sharks on Nov. 1.
Maurice is not known for doing this but maybe it is time he starts. The one thing I have a problem with is he seems to only be doing it for the young guys. He was quick to back Blake Wheeler during his recent slump and he has been defending players like Anthony Bitetto all season long.
If you are going to start calling players out, okay, but keep it consistent. It is about time this team starts to hold some accountability for their play but it needs to be from the top all the way to the bottom.
Letestu Out Long-Term
It was recently revealed that Jets’ forward Mark Letestu will be out of the lineup for a minimum of six months because of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.
Letestu has been out of the Jets’ lineup since Oct. 13 and did not register a point in his seven games with the club. His long-term health is not in question and we wish him the best in his recovery.
A Look at the Week Ahead
The Jets are now on a two-game winning streak and have a four-game homestand coming up with three of those games lined up over the next week. Their first game is Nov. 5 against the New Jersey Devils and they finish the week off on Sunday, Nov. 10 against the Dallas Stars.
The Jets current home record is 3-4 – something they’re not used to over the past couple of seasons. They have been dominant at Bell MTS Place up until this point and have not been able to find their groove on home ice thus far. To be fair, they have not found much of a groove at all this season regardless of where the game is being played.
The last time the Jets and Devils played the Jets made their amazing four-goal comeback to win 5-4 in a shootout. The team has yet to face the Vancouver Canucks (Friday, Nov. 8) and the Stars yet this season. Nov. 8 will be Tyler Myers’ return to Winnipeg after signing with the Canucks at the start of free agency this past summer. The Canucks are off to a hot start – currently sitting at 9-3-2.
Related: Jets’ Lines Need Serious Shakeup
Thank you for reading this week’s edition of ‘Jets Weekly’. Stayed tuned for next week’s edition and as always, feel free to leave any feedback or questions you may have in the comment section below, or follow me on Twitter @Goet91.