The Winnipeg Jets must put their recent scoring issues behind them as they prepare to face a team that’s found difficulty in striking the net themselves in the New York Rangers. However, if the Jets are going to ignite their offense sometime soon then they can’t spend so much time in penalty-kill mode as in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes — who are now four points behind Winnipeg in the Southeast Division.
“The amount of power plays they had — you don’t want to go through that every game,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said, via NHL.com. “We did a good job of getting those killed off. But we had our top guys killing penalties, and they’re out there every other shift. It’s tough to keep that tempo up.”
If Carolina overtakes the Jets then Winnipeg may need to edge a team like the Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot.
However, both Winnipeg (38 points) and New York (35 points), who currently sits at the No. 8 seed, need to start scoring if either fancies their chances at the postseason. The Rangers have gone nearly a week — or just over 127 minutes of game play — without putting the puck in net. This dwarfs Winnipeg’s own scoring woes, but the Jets were shut out by the Pittsburgh Penguins before opening with a scoreless first period against the ‘Canes on Saturday.
Penalties will loom as a major factor in how potent the Jets offensive attack can become, after committing seven on Saturday including two by defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Puck drops Monday night in Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. ET