I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets over the years, but “this is a great team” hasn’t been one of them for some time. Folks, I’ve got that thought again. Winnipeg is starting to look like the genuine contender the off-season made it appear to be. The Jets had a chance to stake their claim to that title with a match against Edmonton. The Oilers have been blitzing teams left and right with a stacked top-6. The rest of the team lacks quality, but McDavid and co. have more than compensated. Color me surprised, then, that Winnipeg took Edmonton to task in a fashion they didn’t even reach in the playoff sweep last season. The Jets crushed Edmonton for much of the evening, and Hellebuyck saw off the rest of the chances that leaked through. The only blemishes in the 5-2 victory were 2 rough power play goals Winnipeg couldn’t do anything about. Here are some takeaways from a big night in Canadian sports.
- I know this is a Jets recap, but point 1 is a big congrats to the Canadian men’s national team for a massive win against Mexico. This is a tremendous milestone in the development of North American football, and I’m sure many of you got to share in the moment. Enjoy it. The road to 2022 and 2026 will be a wild ride.
- The Jets were straight up great, thumping Edmonton in a way that’s becoming increasingly common with this team. Winnipeg was aggressive, active, and sealed off space to force turnovers. They did it up the ice too, disrupting breakouts and creating rapid counters. Were it not for Koskinen robbing Winnipeg multiple times, the scoreline could have been ugly.
- On a related Koskinen note, lol at that Lowry goal. Adam had an excellent night all around so it was deserved, but also....lol.
- Hellebuyck had his best game of the season, tracking the puck well and making difficult reads against Edmonton’s best passers. He’s generally been decent over the last few weeks, but his outing against the Oilers earned him a nod as one of my top stars on the night.
- Dubois just can’t be stopped. He’s a constant wrecking ball in the offensive zone and his ability to create space has carried this team. I don’t know what his next deal will look like, but there’s a good chance he’ll be buying a house in the Peg.
- Winnipeg sits atop the Central, and it’s not a fluke. I can’t believe the team is starting to gel this well, but everyone looks to have an extra level of hustle this year. Even Scheifele and Connor are making more defensive reads and backchecks!
- There’s a long way to go in this season, but the Jets look primed to be a force in the West. With the Central getting off to a slower start, could we see Winnipeg win the division?