The Winnipeg Jets have 12 regular-season games remaining in the 2019-20 NHL year. They are 3-0 in their last three and 6-3-1 in their last 10. That’s the type of streak you want at the end of a season. Unfortunately for the Winnipeg Jets, a streak is a mandatory situation given the vacation they took between mid-December and the start of February.
The Jets have healthy players coming back. Adam Lowry made the most of his appearance on Monday night, although he definitely wracked his knuckles up as shown in one TV shot. Perreault is a great instigator and has shown his value in two games. Corey Eaken finally got his first goal and it was due to hard work and ice-smarts. DeMelo is making a case for being a permanent fixture as well. All in all, the team is coming together at the right time of the season.
The major problem is that the Jets are going to need the Gods of Hockey to intervene in order for them to make the postseason. Sure, as of this moment (and the moment will change tonight, likely) the Jets are in the W1 position. But the teams behind all have games in hand. Minnesota is one point back with one game in hand, and both Vancouver and Nashville are two points back with two games in hand, meaning that if they go on a bit of a run they are two points ahead of us with equal games.
For the Jets to make the playoffs two things have to happen: they have to be on the streak of their lives (or, as we call it, “November”) and other teams have to fold. Both could happen, but the Jets can’t let teams post two goals in the first period and expect to escape every time. We’ve seen that play out before. You can only come from behind so often.
The biggest stat that I really like is the goals for and against differential. We are at a +11 which is, by far, the highest we’ve had this year. For almost the entire review, we’ve been in negative numbers. But good teams post a decent plus-minus point record, and our recent play is showcasing that. It’s a very good thing.
The Jets have health. They have talent. But they are playing catch up after a very mediocre two months where they gave their first-half record away. I don’t think the Jets will make it to the postseason because the odds are too stacked against them, statistically speaking. However, if they do, I predict they won’t be gone in the first round. I think they are well placed for at least a second round appearance and maybe a third round. Then everything is a crapshoot.
But they have to get there, first. One dozen games. They need nine wins.