Welcome to Winnipeg Jets Weekly, where you can catch up on the past week of Jets hockey. From hot topics to news and notes, this is where you can find all things Jets related throughout the 2019-20 season.
For the sixth week in a row, the Jets will finish with a 2-1 record. That is a good recipe to have over these weeks with three games and the Jets have started to build that consistency they were lacking in October.
The team started things off with a convincing 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars at Bell MTS Place on Tuesday. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 of 28 shots in the win and forward Kyle Connor led the way on offense with three points.
The Jets were unable to take the second game against the Stars in Dallas on Thursday. They made a gutsy comeback in the third period to tie the game at two thanks to Mark Scheifele’s goal with less than a minute remaining. They were unable to pull out the win in overtime, but getting the one point was a huge steal for the Jets – especially against a Central Division opponent.
The Jets ended the week with an afternoon Sunday game against the Anaheim Ducks and were able to pull out a 3-2 win. Scheifele got the game-winner on a late third-period, power-play goal on a nice feed from Blake Wheeler and Hellebuyck was solid once again, stopping 31 of 33 shots.
Jets Continue Their Waiver Claims
The Jets continued their active season on the waiver wire by claiming center Nick Shore from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Jets placed defenseman Dmitry Kulikov on injured reserve to make room for Shore and Kulikov is expected to be out of the lineup until the National Hockey League All-Star break in January.
Shore had played 21 games for the Leafs this season, recording two goals, one assist and finishing with a plus-two rating. He played his first game with the Jets on Sunday against the Ducks and finished with two shots on goal while playing just 5:01 of ice time.
Shore will be replacing center David Gustafsson who is expected to temporarily leave the team to participate in the upcoming World Juniors for Team Sweden.
Reinforcements on the Way
Along with Shore, more fourth line reinforcements are expected to be ready anytime soon. Both Mason Appleton and Gabriel Bourque are making strides to return to the lineup sooner than later with Appleton likely being slightly further ahead at this point.
Appleton has been out of the lineup since October after breaking a bone in his foot playing football prior to the 2019 Heritage Classic game. He will be a huge boost to the fourth line that currently features two wingers in Logan Shaw and Joona Luoto who do not seem ready for the NHL just yet.
Bourque has just been cleared for contact as of this past weekend and will likely need a practice or two under his belt before returning to the lineup. Appleton appears likely to return to the lineup on Tuesday with Bourque possibly needing until at least Thursday.
With all the additions from waivers and getting injured players back, the Jets have sent back two players to the Manitoba Moose. Forward Michael Spacek and defenseman Cam Schilling have both been sent back down to the American Hockey League – neither appeared in a game for the Jets while they were with the club.
As I mentioned previously, Bourque and Appleton are close to returns so expect Luoto and Shaw to be returned to the Moose at some point over the next week as well.
A Look at the Week Ahead
The Jets start next week with a home and home against the Detroit Red Wings. They will play at Bell MTS Place on Tuesday then visit Detroit on Thursday – the same layout as last weeks’ home and home against the Stars.
The Jets and Red Wings have yet to face each other this season. Winnipeg has won three consecutive games against the Red Wings dating back to March of the 2017-18 season – The Jets went 2-0 against them last season, outscoring them 6-3.
The third and final game of the week comes against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon – the first of three home games in a row for the Jets. Let’s see if they can keep the streak alive and finish 2-1 for the seventh consecutive week. Although I’m sure we would all prefer to break the streak by going 3-0 instead, right?
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.