The Winnipeg Jets Are On Fire

Photo via Sportsnet

Going into the 2023-24 season, no one knew what to expect of the Winnipeg Jets.

When you play in a division with the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars, the odds are already stacked against you. Yes, the Jets have a solid roster, but their roster is a bit light compared with the Stars and Avalanche.

The Jets did not get the memo. The Jets have surprised everyone this season and look like Stanley Cup contenders as we get close to the midway point of the season.

As of this writing (Monday morning, January 8th), the Jets own the best record in the Central Division, Western Conference, and the NHL. They are currently 26-9-4 and are playing like a team possessed right now.

The Jets are currently on a 12-game point streak. During the streak, the team went 10-0-2, and thanks to their fine play, they were able to rocket themselves to the top of the NHL standings.

There are many reasons why this team is playing so well right now. For starters, they know how to keep the puck out of their net.

The Jets are currently second in the league in goals allowed, as they have given up 93 goals in 39 games. This team does not give up a lot of shots (currently seventh in the league in shots allowed per game at 28.8), and when they do get into trouble, their goaltenders come up with the saves.

Speaking of goaltending, the play of Connor Hellebuyck is another reason why the Jets have had a lot of success this season. As of this writing, Hellebuyck, 30, is 20-6-0-3 with a 2.27 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage, and one shutout.

Hellebuyck having a great season is nothing new. Year in and year out, he is usually his team’s best player as he comes up with the big saves, gives his team a chance to win every night, and plays with such confidence and poise between the pipes, something he has done in his last four starts:

  • December 30th: 34 saves on 36 shots in a win over the Minnesota Wild.
  • January 2nd: 32 saves on 34 shots in a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • January 4th: 27 saves on 28 shots in a win over the San Jose Sharks.
  • January 7th: 15 saves on 17 shots in a win over the Arizona Coyotes.

The team’s backup goaltender, Laurent Brossoit, has also had a solid season for the Jets this year. Brossoit, 30, is currently 6-3-0-1 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.

The Jets are very lucky to have Brossoit. Should Hellebuyck ever get injured or need a spell here and there, Brossoit can come in, and there will not be a drop-off in play as Brossoit knows how to win games, which he has done convincingly in his last three starts:

  • December 20th: 26 saves on 28 shots in a win over the Detroit Red Wings.
  • December 31st: 24 saves on 26 shots in a win over the Wild.
  • January 5th: 37 saves on 38 shots in a win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Another reason why the Jets are rolling right now is because of their offense. The Jets are currently eighth in the league in goals scored as they have scored 132 goals, which means they are averaging close to four goals per game.

As of this writing, the Jets have eight players with at least 20 points. Players like Mark Scheifele (40 points), Nikolaj Ehlers (31 points), Josh Morrissey (30 points), Kyle Connor (28 points), Cole Perfetti (26 points), Nino Niederreiter (24 points), Vladislav Namestnikov (23 points), and Mason Appleton have all been solid contributors for the Jets this season.

The Jets have also gotten great coaching from both head coach Rick Bowness and associate coach Scott Arniel. When Bowness took a leave of absence to be with his wife after she had a seizure back on October 22, Arniel stepped in and did a great job of getting the team to play well, stick to Bowness’s system, and win hockey games, which helped take the pressure off of Bowness to rush back.

While the Jets will need to continue to play well as well as wait for Connor to return from a lower-body injury that he suffered back on December 13th in a collision with Ducks forward Ryan Strome, there is no doubt that the Jets have shown that they are not to be taken lightly this season and hopefully come the postseason.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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