The Winnipeg Jets trip to Finland played a large part, but they had more off days than most teams in the early going. That means they have quite a grueling schedule to end the regular season, however.
The Winnipeg Jets had a light early season schedule. Since they opened the season a bit unevenly, I just basically assumed it was a good thing.
I figured when the team elevated their play, they would be able to make up the games in hand they had on teams above them in the standings. It did not work out that way, exactly.
Also, I did not take into consideration that their end-of-season schedule would be quite crammed. Which is, y’know, bad for a team going into the playoffs. Ideally, you’d like to be rested.
Now, had the team performed better up until this point, they’d have a little leeway in the standings and could give some guys a little breather. That is also not the case, as they sit just two points above the Predators (albeit with a game in hand still).
More from Editorials
- Winnipeg Jets vs. Blackhawks Round 3: 5 Things We learned
- Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck is the Best Goalie of the Last 5 Years
- A Patrik Laine Trade Redux Prior to Winnipeg Jets vs. Columbus
- Winnipeg Jets Doppelgangers: Look-A-Likes PART II
- Can Josh Morrissey of the Winnipeg Jets Actually Win the Norris?
That’s not a comfortable lead. It hasn’t been a comfortable season for Winnipeg, either, as it’s been full of injuries, poor performance, stunted development and erratic play from just about every position.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re still third in the West and I don’t think anyone would be shocked if they won the Cup, but they’re not even the team they were last year, when a lot of things broke right.
It’s good that a team can struggle like this at times and still be in a rock solid position, but the schedule makers aren’t Jets fans, apparently.
The Jets haven’t had consecutive days off since March 6 and 7. They won’t the rest of the season. A west coast road trip just had them play three games in four nights.
They face another three in four situation on the road, with four games in six days to finish off the year. Only four of their final 11 games will be played in the friendly confines of Bell MTS Place.
At the end of an 82 game season, it’s understandable to be worn down. Hopefully the Jets will play roughly 20 more games, as well. It’s a lot of hockey. Last year they played 99 total games. A lot of these kids are young and haven’t played seasons like this before.
Exhaustion is an enemy, too. The Jets are battling it with a tough schedule now, and they’ll battle it once they’re in the playoffs. Will it be a factor? Undoubtedly. How much of one? I can’t say for certain.