When it comes to this Winnipeg Jets season, I’m trying to level my expectations. Years of watching this team veer from mediocre to tragic every other day has made me wary to have optimism. For once, though, the Jets might finally be earning my confidence in their on-ice performance. In a second consecutive game, Winnipeg dominated a pretty good opponent, shellacking the pesky Sharks on home ice. San Jose may not be Cup contenders, but they’re a genuinely decent side with a burgeoning crop of youth to draw on. Despite some defensive lapses here and there, Winnipeg took the Sharks to task in impressive fashion. Here are some takeaways on the evening.
- I’m running out of things to say about the Dubois line. It just dominates. The Jets haven’t had a unit this good in a long time, and it’s carried Winnipeg through some early injury patches. Svechnikov is looking like one of the steals of the off-season. I just pray he stays healthy and gets a chance to prove he belongs in the NHL.
- The floodgates have to open for Scheifele soon. He continues to do a ton of the hard work, but can’t seem to hit paydirt. His linemates haven’t made good on his passes either. Soon, though...
- Wheeler is seeing less and less ice-time. This can only be to the benefit of all, including the captain. Time is catching up to Wheeler and switching to a third line role should give him the cushion to perform.
- Stanley needs some time off. He’s really hurting Winnipeg on the PK and at even-strength. His glaring weaknesses in agility and reaction speed to quick skaters has been a lot more noticeable in recent times.
- Schmidt finally notched his first Jets goal, and what a thunderbolt it was! I love this dude. He brings such a fun, dynamic presence on and off the ice. Even if he was bad at his job as a blueliner, I’d still enjoy his character in the room.
- Winnipeg seems like it’s starting to click at even-strength. If the lines can work on the quality of their finishing a bit, the Jets will legitimately be a nasty force to contend with once the post-season rolls around.
- Ehlers looked like he wanted to die on the bench at the end of the game. You have to appreciate the effort he puts out on almost every shift.