Winnipeg Jets Continue the Most Challenging Portion of their Schedule
It’s hard to see the Winnipeg Jets turning around a challenging homestand. After losing a tightly-contested game with the Philadelphia Flyers, things are about to get much worse for Winnipeg. The Jets host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, before the Boston Bruins visit on Sunday in what could be the two most challenging games of the season.
At the conclusion of this difficult homestand, the Jets open a five-game road trip against Atlantic Division powers and a surging divisional rival. February’s schedule has been unkind to the Winnipeg Jets, and the rest of the month will be quite a test.
The Pittsburgh Penguins rebounded from back-to-back losses to the New Jersey Devils with a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Though Malkin’s struggles continue, there is no doubt that the Pittsburgh offense is as dangerous as ever. The Winnipeg Jets, allowing 3.3 goals per game, will be hard-pressed to shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins. On Sunday, the Jets host the Boston Bruins, one of the hottest teams in the NHL with just one loss in regulation this season.
It’s difficult to address the issues of the Winnipeg Jets this season. When goaltending flounders, the offense seems to click. Scorers like Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, and Evander Kane have produced solid numbers in a shortened season. With Winnipeg Jets goaltending playing their best hockey of the year in February, the mercurial Jets offense has produced just two goals per game over the last four games.
After losing to the Flyers on Tuesday, the Jets could be heading for a freefall after fighting their way to .500 through 11 games. The Jets begin a five-game road trip after hosting the Bruins on Sunday with games against the surging Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers again.
On the bright side, if the Winnipeg Jets can emerge from this challenging portion of their schedule still in the playoff hunt, it can only get easier from here.