Sports How the Winnipeg Jets have become Canada’s best NHL team

01:06  18 january  2018
01:06  18 january  2018 Source:   sportsnet.ca

'We got nothing to complain about': Jets coach responds to Sharks' slam

  'We got nothing to complain about': Jets coach responds to Sharks' slam The head coach of the Winnipeg Jets says NHL players have little to complain about after a house-made video released by the San Jose Sharks poked fun at The Peg before Sunday's game.The head coach of the Winnipeg Jets says NHL players have little to complain about after an in-house video released by the San Jose Sharks poked fun at The Peg before Sunday's game.

In a season of surprises, from success in Vegas to disasters in Ottawa and Edmonton, we bring you the Winnipeg Jets — Canada ’ s best National Hockey League team . %2Fhockey%2Fnhl%2Fwinnipeg- jets - become -canadas- best - nhl - team %2F. Join the Conversation.

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In a season of surprises, from success in Vegas to disasters in Ottawa and Edmonton, we bring you the Winnipeg Jets — Canada’s best National Hockey League team.

That’s right. The patient, draft-and-develop, trade-averse Jets have finally arrived. They’re big, deep, and fast with goaltending, an excellent defence, and talent up front that for the most part is only going to mature and improve.

The Jets are in first place in the Central, despite the fact Mark Scheifele — their best player, though Blake Wheeler fans may argue — has been on injured reserve since Dec. 27. He could be out another month.

So it’s up to the captain Wheeler, having a career year at age 31, a fast-maturing Patrik Laine, and a focused Jacob Trouba to get this club to the finish line. Along with the rest of a lineup that is way deeper than most of us gave the Jets credit for when we were making our pre-season predictions.

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What is suddenly making head coach Paul Maurice so smart, after many folks questioned why he got a new three-year deal heading into the season? The talent at his disposal, that’s what.

He’s never had horses like this — plus a goalie. Here are a few thoughts on what’s going right in Manitoba this winter, and why we’ll be there this spring for only the second time since the Jets’ return.

• It starts in goal with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck‘s coming of age.

After a 2016-17 season in which a less consistent Hellebuyck gave Winnipeg a .907 save percentage, Jets management went out and signed Steve Mason. Do you think it was GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s plan to have a $4.1 million backup this year and next? Yeah, me neither. Mason started the first two games of the season. Then Hellebuyck went in for Game 3 and hasn’t given the net back.

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  Winnipeg couple found dead in Jamaica WINNIPEG - A married couple from Winnipeg has been found dead in Jamaica. The Jamaica Constabulary Force has identified the couple as 81-year-old Melbourne Flake and 70-year-old Etta Flake. Global Affairs Canada did not release any names, but offered its condolences to family and friends. A spokesman for the department says consular services are being provided to the family. Jamaican police say on Monday and Tuesday construction workers attempted to contact the couple but were not successful.Officers then entered the house and found two bodies.Family members say the Flakes, who both had Canadian and Jamaican citizenship, were killed in a home burglary.

No Canada : Canadian teams don’t have the best track record in the NHL draft. Goaltending is the great equalizer. With it, a good team can become great. Is it the team in front of them? Or is it that, like Winnipeg ’ s Connor Hellebuyck, who is 22, they are being asked to save the world night after

FunTrivia » Questions » Sports » NHL Teams » Winnipeg Jets . Before, it was the top team from each of the three (conference) divisions that qualified, followed by the next best five teams , regardless of division.

Hellebuyck has 35 starts this season and just six regulation losses. Six! Goaltending like that does a Stanley Cup contender make.

• Like almost every bottom-dwelling team that finds success, the Jets’ climb is based more on keeping pucks put of their own net as much shooting it into opponents’ goals.

Last season Winnipeg raked 27th in goals allowed. This season it sits 12th in goals-against per game (2.74) and is on pace to cut 30 goals-against off its total. It’s simple math: better team defence, a better defensive corps, better goaltending and a better penalty kill — from 26th to 17th — makes for a better team.

• Offence doesn’t hurt, however, and Winnipeg’s power play has improved from 16th last year to second-best in the NHL today. The Jets are one of just five teams that have six players with 10 or more goals (the Lightning, Penguins, Blackhawks and Hurricanes were the others at the time of this writing). Laine looks like he’s good for another 35-goal season, and lightning-fast Nikolaj Ehlers is headed for another 60-plus point season.

Jets offence runs out of gas in loss to Blackhawks

  Jets offence runs out of gas in loss to Blackhawks Jets offence runs out of gas in loss to BlackhawksJan Rutta also scored for the Blackhawks, who ended the Jets' three-game winning streak and handed Winnipeg its first regulation loss in seven games (6-0-1).

WINNIPEG — Mark Scheifele doesn’t care if the Winnipeg Jets aren’t big news in Canadian hockey circles. They can take all the media attention and we ’ ll continue to work on our game and try to be the best team we can be."

NHL Second Team All-Star Centre (1985). Canada Cup Championships (1987 and 1991) (pictured right). That year, the NHL Draft was held at the Montreal Forum, and the Winnipeg Jets held the first overall "DUCKY" NICKNAME: Dale Hawerchuk talks about how the "Ducky" nickname came to be.

More goals scored and less goals against makes for a path to success that is pretty easy to figure out.

• The blue line: Trouba and Josh Morrissey have settled into the Jets shutdown pairing all year — two young players developed in-house. Big Tyler Myers has been healthy this season — the Jets only played one period of hockey with their Top 6 D-men last season — and Dmitry Kulikov may finally have found a home on Myers’ flank, turning in a solid, plus-4 season in Winnipeg after going minus-26 in only 47 games with Buffalo last season. Which brings us to Dustin Byfuglien…

• Big Buff has always been a risk-and-reward player, and in the past the Jets had to roll the dice and play him a ton. Sure, he still leads the Jets in average ice time at 23:21 this season, but that’s a full four minutes less than the 27:26 he averaged in ’16-17.

The point is, the Jets are a deeper, better team that doesn’t have to run Byfuglien out for nearly half the hockey game. And he’s likely a better player at 23 minutes than 27, asked to take a few less risks and concentrate on being a sound defender.

Dumba scores twice, Wild beat Jets 4-1

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When the Atlanta Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets in 2011, the new owners (True North Sports & Entertainment) Even though the Jets had relocated from Atlanta in 2011, the NHL and the Board of Governors had not yet settled on how to realign the teams and divisions prior to the 2012-13 season.

The Winnipeg Jets are a professional ice hockey team , based in Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada . [1] [2] Following the move, the team adopted the name of Winnipeg ' s original WHA/ NHL team , which became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996 .

One senses a passing of the torch here. That this isn’t Byfuglien’s team anymore. It’s more like Wheeler’s team now, soon to be Scheifele’s.

Dustin Byfuglien is logging less ice time in 2017-18. (David Zalubowski/AP)

• Matt Hendricks. As a Minnesota guy, we’re betting that if there any waters to be smoothed over in the “reshaping Byfuglien” department, Hendricks is quietly brokering that transition. He is one of the solid leaders coming off the fourth line in the game today, and with Wheeler and Byfuglien both Minnesota natives, Hendricks speaks their language.

Meanwhile, with Hendricks in town the Jets penalty kill has moved from 26th last season to 17th this year. And it’s not like they are taking any less penalties. A Winnipeg team that was fourth in the NHL in minor penalties last season sits in sixth place this season, on pace for almost an identical number of minor penalties called against them.

Winnipeg’s Einarson beats Calgary’s Carey for final Scotties spot .
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