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The Grumpy Fan’s Season Preview

Winnipeg Jets v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets have been here for ten years now and there have been good times and bad times. Their highest point was the series about five years into their time in Winnipeg when they beat the Nashville Predators, at the time the best team in hockey, in game seven. It was electric and sadly over much too soon in the next round to the hands of the new guys, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Now that we are done living in the past, we must talk about how on paper this Winnipeg Jets team is far better than recent iterations because of their depth on defence. As I talked about previously, the defence is currently in the most logical formation which will hopefully turn into it’s optimal formation which Ville Heinola is playing instead of Logan Stanley (sorry not sorry Logan).

Outside of the defence, the Jets forwards are solid on paper as long as they stay healthy and do not get killed by the aging curve with some of the older players. I am not going to place too much value on the first game of the season, but the Jets will absolutely need more from Blake Wheeler and Paul Stastny going forward. The extremely early returns on that are not looking good.

As for the goalies, all the superlatives about Connor Hellebuyck will never be enough. As he goes, the Jets go. And as Eric Comrie goes, Hellebuyck might have to play a lot just to keep the Jets alive because it sure seems like he will have to carry the load and then some. It shall be a fun time for all.

All this said, the Jets are going to be fun one way or another and they will be worth watching wherever you are.

WHO TO WATCH

While you are watching, you will hopefully get to watch Cole Perfetti who has impressed throughout preseason and in his first game of the year. If he gets sent down, there will be some very sad Jets fans especially because he helps elevate the bottom six and is like Mason Appleton on steroids, but not actually because he is very small.

The other player to keep an eye on is Nikolaj Ehlers, who is the overlooked and underappreciated. He was the best winger in the North Division last year and the only thing that stopped him was Carey Price. Trust me when I say he is worth the price of admission for his zone entries alone.

TWO PREDICTIONS

  1. The Jets regret not having a proper goalie at one point either because of injury or general fatigue to Connor Hellebuyck causing them to struggle.
  2. We see Ville Heinola on a pair with Dylan DeMelo before the year is through and it is very, very good.