The Winnipeg Jets got beat up pretty badly Wednesday night vs Colorado. The first period went pretty smoothly, both teams exchanged some chances the Avalanche definitely out-chanced and out played the Jets in the first but from their on it was all Avalanche.
The Avalanche played a very quick transition game, worked well down low and all four lines were clicking. The recipe to beat the Jets seems to be a quicker game than they play, don’t allow them to get second chances, move the puck up the ice quickly and score the first goal. The Jets have been in a little bit of a rut. The Jets still sit a top the Central division, separating themselves from Nashville by one point and St. Louis by six points. The Jets though in nine February games have lost six of their eight games, two coming in overtime therefore they pick up two points and have only won four of their eight games.
The concern is not about the Jets ability to make playoffs obviously it seems the concern is their ability to get into the playoffs and make a run. The Jets were bounced in the Conference Finals last season vs the Golden Knights. Their window seems to be getting smaller as the years go and some their back end ages, are free agents at the end of the season or the concern of cap issues. The Jets have scored 12 goals in their last five games (2.4 goals per game), have allowed 19 goals in those five games (3.8 goals per game). Something we usually never see from Winnipeg is a lack of offense and a poor defensive game.
Granted the Jets are missing a few pieces on their back end right now with Dustin Byfuglien being out and Joe Morrow as well but their defensive issues from last night’s game seem to be from their front end as well. They back checked terribly and in front their own net their defenseman and centers were puck watching a lot. As well it does not help that Nikolaj Ehlers is out still and Patrik Laine is on a 15-game goal-less drought and two goals in his last 28 games but Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor have a combined 5 goals and 6 assists in their last five games. Wheeler and Scheifele are both point less in their last three game.
Here are some glaring mistakes from the Jets 7-1 loss to Colorado Wednesday night. I’d like to make aware of how Patrik Laine being scoreless in 15-games straight shows zero effort in this back check that leads to a Colorado goal. And Mark Schefiele seems to be not hustling back either on the 2-vs-1 goal as well as the terrible in front of net coverage on the final goal. Two guys can’t tie up one guy to keep him from scoring.
With the Jets loss to Colorado and lack of offense in their last five games and 45 goals in their last 15 games, and now if we take out the 9 goals they score vs Anaheim, their 36 goals in 14 games and 2.5 goals for over that span is a glaring issue. With that said, are the Jets heavy favorites and or considering Matt Duchene even more now? Their offense seems to be struggling. Even in that 7-1 loss to Colorado they got outshot 46-27 another issue. The Jets have been outshot numerous times now over the last week plus. They were outshot 41-28 vs Ottawa, outshot 35-26 vs Colorado (Feb. 14), outshot 37-36 vs Rangers (Feb. 12), outshot 26-29 vs Buffalo (Feb.10) there seems to be some issues on the offensive side of things for Winnipeg and it only makes sense that will be heavy favorites for Duchene amongst these issues.