In the absence of Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, one could be forgiven for expecting the Winnipeg Jets to fall to pieces. Instead, many are discovering that Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler not existing actually helps to balance the rest of the line-up. The “top line” has been a sore spot with this team for years, but without it, the Jets offense seems to be finding its feet more frequently. Winnipeg had a chance to take 2 points against the Preds with the same line-up it used against Anaheim. The Jets seized both standings points wholeheartedly, though it came with a bit of baggage. Here are some takeaways from Winnipeg’s demolition of the Preds.
- We’ll get the ugly stuff out of the way first; the penalty kill is a never-ending nightmare. Or perhaps, the penalty kill ends far too quickly. The Jets need to sort this out as soon as possible. Penalties were the only reason Nashville kept the scoreline as close as it did.
- Pierre-Luc Dubois is killing it. The home improvement expert and part-time pro hockey player has been on an absolute tear, driving transition, slot offense, and potting several goals. This is the player the Jets were hoping to acquire, and the fruits of the trade are so sweet.
- Vesalainen finally scored his first goal! It was a nifty tip too, redirecting a Schmidt shot/pass that required a very difficult change in direction to score. Kristian’s clearly worked on his game, and he’s deserved a goal for his efforts.
- Dillon continues to be a bit of a pylon. I think he’ll turn it around at some point, but for the time being, the Jets may need to switch his pairing out.
- The Jets did a great job attacking Nashville’s slot repeatedly. This was some of the most consistently dangerous offense the Jets have shown in some time. Doing so with Ehlers struggling and no Scheifele was especially impressive. More, please!
- Schmidt quietly racked up a boatload of points on the evening. Two of them came from tipped deflections thanks to his great point-shooting. You love to see it (since he’s struggling in the DZ a bit).
- How about those Bombers, eh? They might just be the team to beat once again.