With every point being crucial at this juncture, the Winnipeg Jets keep finding new ways to lose, this time falling with just five seconds between them and at least one point.
The Winnipeg Jets scored four goals in regulation, at home. That should be enough to win, even with a compromised defense.
Connor Hellebuyck has to be better in these games. The last time the Jets won a game while scoring fewer than five goals was February 12, when they put four up on the Rangers.
They won the previous game, Feb 10, against Buffalo, by scoring only three goals. Since then, the team is 4-7-1, and their wins have come by scores of 6-3, 5-3, 5-2 and 8-1.
The team has surrendered 44 goals in this twelve game stretch, which is downright embarrassing for a team with this amount of talent. The absences of Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey be damned, this is not enough.
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I don’t know what Paul Maurice has to do. I thought Connor Hellebuyck was turning a corner, but he’s been dreadful as of late. Yes, the defense is poor. But Laurent Brossoit seems to manage just fine.
Having an .876 save percentage and allowing 11 goals in your last three starts is a good way to get benched in the middle of a playoff push, though I don’t think the Jets will go there.
Having a .909 save percentage and a 3.01 GAA for the season is not acceptable. I don’t care that scoring is up and goaltenders around the league are putting up mediocre numbers.
The league averages are .909 and 2.84. When your team is at the top of the division by one point (Anaheim somehow managed to beat Nashville), slightly below league average isn’t good enough.
Hellebuyck doesn’t have a shutout this season. He’s allowed one goal ten times, though. He’s started 52 games. Laurent Brossoit has a shutout and six games of one goal allowed, and he’s started just nineteen games.
Hellebuyck’s let in five goals six times. Sixteen times he’s allowed four or more. That’s a bad way to win games. They just gave this man a huge contract. Last season he had six shutouts and a .924 save percentage.
For goaltenders with at least 19 starts (the number Brossoit has), Helly is 30th in the league in save percentage. Brutal. It’s not all on him and it’s not fair to pin this on him, but here we are.
We have no better scapegoat. He was such a big reason for the success of the team last season, and now they’re looking like they’ll finish with about 90 points (at their current pace, the team will finish with ~100, but they aren’t exactly playing good hockey right about now).
Boston and Calgary close out the homestand. Are you confident the Jets will top either one of those teams? I wouldn’t be.
I don’t know what Paul Maurice has to do or say to get this team playing like they should. But at this rate, I’d enjoy the first round of the playoffs as much as possible.