There was definitely some kind of hockey played in the city of Winnipeg on this day, October 20th, in the year of our Lord, 2019. The Edmonton Oilers decided to try and bore us to death, and it almost worked. That team without McDavid and Draisaitl is.....not very good. The Jets scored a goal courtesy of Carl Dahlstrom, but it was waved off after a silly offsides review. Alas, the Oilers and Jets exchanged 65 minutes of futility to decide the game in a shootout. Thankfully, Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor decided we’d suffered enough and finished off Mike Smith to seal the 2 points.
Connor Hellebuyck is....Good? I think?
Edmonton didn’t test Hellebuyck as greatly as some of his other recent opponents, but he stood tall to keep Winnipeg’s goals-against column empty. Overall, Connor’s had a much stronger stretch of play over the past couple of weeks. He’ll need to be this sharp continually, as Winnipeg’s defense under duress is liable to crack. As the season wears on, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Hellebuyck can keep this performance up. He certainly has the potential to cement himself as starter, but we know there have been more than a few struggles over the past season or two.
The Jets Still Aren’t Good
Winnipeg may have emerged victorious, but struggling against this Oilers line-up speaks to some deeper issues with the Jets. Blake Wheeler is playing some of the worst hockey of his career, and the European contingent has had to step up to cover the rest of the team’s weaknesses. I still can’t tell what the Jets are at this point, but I’d be surprised if they make it to the post-season. We can only hope this pain is eventually worth it.
Andrew Copp is the Best
Seriously, we need to appreciate Copp a bit more. He’s been one of Winnipeg’s best and most versatile skaters this season. He deserves a longer look at the second line centre spot, and may be the best fit for that role long-term. I know Bryan Little will likely be given that role for the time being, but Copp has put together some incredible outings in recent times. With additional shifts, I can only see his points totals going up from here.