The Winnipeg Jets defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 on Monday in what was their first game in a six-game eastern road trip. On another positive note it wasn’t the usual suspects who got the job done offensively, as a couple key forwards ended their goal droughts. Mark Scheifele ended his 24-game scoreless streak which dates back to Winnipeg’s season opener and Evander Kane notched his first goal in 11 games, which proved to be the game winner.
This game also marked the return of Jacob Trouba, who had one shot and blocked a shot in nearly 20 minutes of ice time. With that said, here are four interesting Winnipeg stats from the 2013-14 season so far.
Shots Per Game: 32.2
Ranking fifth in the NHL with 32.2 shots per game, the Jets have no trouble putting pucks on net. Unfortunately, unlike the four teams who average more shots, (the Sharks, Blackhawks, Canucks and Ducks) this hasn’t translated to wins for Winnipeg. The Jets rank 23rd with an average of 2.46 goals per game, proving that they need to find a way to create more quality scoring chances, not simply direct pucks on goal.
Faceoffs: 45.6 Percent
Winnipeg ranks 27th in the NHL, ahead of only the Islanders, Devils and dreadful Flames. Their performance in the faceoff circle has been terrible. Of the Jets’ top five centers only Jim Slater, who has taken just 101 draws, has won more than half his faceoffs (50.5 percent). Bryan Little has taken a team-high 554 faceoffs, but has won just 43.3 percent. Mark Schefeile continues to try to find his groove in the faceoff dot, having won a mere 41.6 percent of his draws.
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) November 7, 2013
Shorthanded: 98 Times
The Jets rank 27th in the NHL with only the Kings (99), Red Wings (99) and Senators (107) having been shorthanded more often. The Jets’ struggles on the power play have been well documented this season. And while their penalty kill is a respectable 82.6 percent (ranked 15th), there is no reason to be spending so much time shorthanded. The primary culprit is Tobias Enstrom, who has racked up a team-high 38 penalty minutes as a result of 19 minors. With more time spent five-on-five and less time shorthanded, Claude Noel can have more control over his offensive lines.
Regulation Wins: Six
The Jets have played 26 games this season and only six times have they come out victorious after 60 minutes. Since beating the Oilers and Kings in their first two games, the Jets only regulation wins have come against the Red Wings, Predators and Devils (twice). Not exactly a group of elite teams. And yet, somehow they’re just six points behind the Coyotes for eighth in the Western Conference. The Jets aren’t going to finish in the top three in the Central Division, so making the playoffs will come down to clinching a wild card spot. Obviously to do that the Jets need to start winning games in regulation against Western Conference opponents.
Eric is a postgraduate public relations student at Humber College. Prior to that he obtained a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Windsor. He covers the Winnipeg Jets for The Hockey Writers and is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.