The Winnipeg Jets bid farewell to coaching iron man Paul Maurice yesterday, ushering in a new era of Jets hockey. At least, that’s what Maurice and the front office would have you believe. With a match-up later that evening against the Washington Capitals, the interim coach Dave Lowry was unlikely to change anything significantly. He will need time to make adjustments and scheme changes to his preferences. That said, he’s still in charge and we can only critique what we’re given. The first game under Lowry wasn’t much to write home about, with the Jets following to a 50%-AHL roster in Washington. Vanecek may have stolen the evening in net for the Caps, but there are some worrying flags for Jets fans. Read on for a few takeaways from the game.
- Ehlers had one of his better games of the season, notching some slick assists and generally being a nuisance against Caps skaters. We’ve missed the version of Nikolaj that dominates every shift. If he can make a return to health, it’ll be none too soon.
- The third line played far too many minutes, and it came at the cost of 81-80-71. Winnipeg’s most productive offensive unit played around 12 minutes of 5v5 time. That cannot continue.
- Both Gustafsson and Svechnikov left the game with unknown injuries. We can only hope they’re minor, as the Jets are thin on call-up talent.
- Scheifele’s gonna have to show up for more than 2 games a month. His footprint on the game is poor far too frequently.
- Winnipeg got worked over by a Caps line-up missing 4 or 5 key starters. I wasn’t kidding when I said the team looked like an AHL line-up. The Jets can’t allow this to be a repeating trend.
- I’m not sure what Lowry will want to change, but I hope it doesn’t lead towards grittier players. The Jets turned to grinders long ago and that went swimmingly.
- Winnipeg’s schedule doesn’t get easier from here. Lowry’s been thrown to the wolves a bit and I don’t anticipate the Jets winning many games over the next few weeks.