The Winnipeg Jets have had a tough season. A tough season that has resulted in a playoff berth and, to be fair, they’re still atop the Central Division. But more has gone wrong than right this season, no?
Saying the Winnipeg Jets have had a rough season seems like the obvious call, no? I mean, if you’re looking for disappointing parts of the season, there are plenty.
Guys like Adam Lowry, Brandon Tanev and Andrew Copp are all playing well, but not exceeding many expectations. Laurent Brossoit has been a great pickup, but how much difference does a backup netminder make, especially come playoff time?
After a loss to the Islanders, the Jets dropped to 5-5 in their last ten games. It was a tough one, too, as the team led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before allowing three straight goals in the third.
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Also, two of those were with less than two minutes left. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to the Jets either. The Sharks scored the go-ahead goal with five seconds remaining to beat the Jets a couple weeks ago.
They led Minnesota by one a few weeks prior as well, before allowing two goals in the last 87 seconds of regulation to lose. This is not a good trait to have. I realize parts of the defense are missing, but that’s part of the problem.
Josh Morrissey and Dustin Byfuglien have missed big chunks of the season. Nikolaj Ehlers, though now healthy, also missed a significant portion. I’m hopeful Byfuglien and Morrissey will be back and chugging for the playoffs, though I’m not certain how realistic that expectation is.
Patrik Laine has suffered though a tough season. After 44 goals and 70 points a year ago, he’s at 29 and 49. Not ideal for development.
Connor Hellebuyck has struggled compared to last season, though I’m not sure that’s too unexpected. He has looked better of late, yesterday’s game against New York notwithstanding.
But it’s been a tough year. It speaks highly of the talent level of this team that they can have such a rough season and still manage to be where they are. Can they pull it together for the stretch run? We won’t know until we see it.
The team is still set up for success in the future, so even if this year goes sour, it’s not as if the window is slamming shut. But I had hoped for more development this year. They’re still a heck of a team. But it’s not the season we hoped for…so far.