It was another up and down week for the Winnipeg Jets. They played four games between Oct. 10-16 and finished with a 2-2 record (4-4 on the season). There weren’t many stars to choose from in the last two games – both ugly losses in which the Jets were outscored 11-4. With that said, there are always a few players still on their game even in losses like that.
The Jets had a lot going for them in their home opener against the Minnesota Wild and they followed that up with a come from behind victory in Chicago against the Blackhawks two days later. There were a lot of strong performances between the four games and here are our choices for this week’s edition of “Jets’ 3 Stars of the Week.”
3rd Star: Josh Morrissey
Morrissey returned to the lineup on Oct. 10 after missing two games due to concussion-like symptoms after colliding with a teammate in warmups before their Oct. 6 game versus the New York Islanders. He had five assists over four games this week and averaged over 23 minutes of ice time per game.
He also finished with a whopping plus-5 rating in the game versus the Wild on Oct. 10, but that number has diminished over the last two games to a combined minus-5.
The Jets’ newest assistant captain, however, continues to be a bright spot on the teams’ backend, that has looked shaky for the most part. He has looked solid while working on the first power-play unit and has been chewing up big minutes in every game he has played. Rumours are swirling that Dustin Byfuglien may be looking to return, which would take a huge weight off Morrissey’s shoulders, and let’s face it, the team needs Byfuglien.
Morrissey – overall – has looked great and he did enough this past week to earn the third star.
2nd Star: Connor Hellebuyck
Hellebuyck started in three of the team’s four games this past week. He finished with a 2-1 record and was solid in the two victories. He stopped a combined 96 of 104 shots over his three starts – good for a .922 save percentage (SV%). His lone loss was on Oct. 15 against the Arizona Coyotes in which he didn’t look great but wasn’t terrible either. There was at least one goal he should have had and the others were either heavy screens in front, defensive breakdowns, or both.
Hellebuyck has been pretty solid since he sat an extra game after the season opener against the New York Rangers. His overall numbers are middle of the pack among NHL goalies, but this week, he was close to the top 10. Having a consistent starting goaltender will be a huge factor in the Jets’ success going forward, so let’s hope he can bounce back from his game against the Coyotes and that he gets some support in front of him.
Two victories, and looking stellar while doing so, has earned
Hellebuyck the Jets’ second star of the week.
1st Star: Mark Scheifele
Scheifele had a consistent week in the point department, with points in all four games, and he finished with three goals and three assists. His line fell victim to an abundance of goals against in the previous two games and the 26-year-old saw his plus/minus drop by minus-5 as a result.
Scheifele, however, was solid against the Wild in the Jets’ home opener and he scored the game-winning goal in overtime against the Blackhawks in Chicago on Oct. 12. I liked his most recent game against the Coyotes when he put up a goal and an assist and he also created a lot of quality scoring chances – especially on the man advantage.
The lone blemish was his game against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he was a minus-4 but, let’s face it, no one looked spectacular in that one. Scheifele still managed to score a power-play goal and won 58% of his face-offs. He is now tied with three players (including Patrik Laine) atop the NHL with 12 points on the season.
Scheifele was the Jets’ most electrifying player this past week thus earning him the first star.
We are keeping a tally of who earns player of the week honours throughout the 2019-20 season. First star is worth three points, second star worth two points, and third star gets you one point. Including last week’s three stars, here is our current total:
- Mark Scheifele: 3 points
- Nikolaj Ehlers: 3 points
- Connor Hellebuyck: 2 points
- Patrik Laine: 2 points
- Ville Heinola: 1 point
- Josh Morrissey: 1 point